Who the hell am I?
I’m a freelance researcher and writer who is in love with food. There are many words to describe this affliction: passion, craziness, fondness, wisdom, infatuation… I spend my waking minutes mulling over what to eat next, and this while I’m chowing down on lusciously thick biangbiang noodles soaked in chilli oil. But I found that I’m happiest eating when I’m with the company of other people. And I’m most fascinated when I discover and start to understand the customs and culture behind the food.
So what have I got to say?
Culture and food are as interconnected as – well, everything really. Physical with mental wellbeing, cities with the environment, you name it. It simply goes without saying. Culture is associated with something that has withstood the test of time. How does anything living do that? By staying fluid. In terms of my background, I’m a food anthropologist. That sounds much fancier than it is. I look at the stories behind food. But despite my background I try to stay – you guessed it! – fluid. I find value in staying open to other perspectives. In fact, I’m on a journey of discovery just like you. But each of our journeys is unique and the only way to connect is by sharing it!
And my philosophy?
When I write about restaurants, I focus on the food. One dish. One story (or many). There’s nothing better than enjoying food with the knowledge of the journey it has taken. This site is about building that understanding. It’s about following our curiosity and scratching beneath the surface to unearth something that is much richer than what we see on our plate.
But how do I get the info?
When I encounter a new dish, excitement and curiosity overwhelm me. I do all the research, in books, magazines, online. Often it is my friends who introduce me to the wondrous world of a food tradition, and they’ll have lots of insights to share with me. At times I’ll go straight to the source, have a chat or interview with the people making and serving the dish. It’s a true connection. And one I hope you’ll find valuable too. So, a heartfelt welcome to my site and I can’t wait to hear your stories as well!
Anything in the pipeline?
Yes, actually! My food obsession crystallised when I encountered the culture and flavours of Korean food. It’s been eight years in the making. I have been interviewing Korean restaurant owners and chefs all over Europe about their experiences serving Korean food away from home. Food has always travelled. That’s how we have Sichuan food. The chilli pepper from the Americas needed to make its way there for the cuisine to develop the way it did. Nowadays, food travels faster. We have American Chinese cuisine with General Tso’s Chicken and fortune cookies. What does Korean food in the UK look like? In Spain? In Germany? If this fascinates you as much as me, follow the Korean restaurants abroad series to find out.
And anything else I’m working on?
I’m Food Editor and Writer at Napita, online media platform and food guide for restaurants in London. We publish food guides (think the best pizzerias in London), keep you up to date on what’s happening in the food world, and give you a look behind the scenes to uncover the stories of restaurants that are waiting to be told: the making of, the dishes, the people.
You can reach me at bibimbites[at]gmail.com.
Or come and find me on social media!