This has been an intense week. One presentation, a heartfelt goodbye and an encounter with the social media echelon, made me reflect on myself and on where I’m going with my cooking and writing. And I realised that for complete job satisfaction, I need to add a pinch of meaning to my food.
It’s a bit like it was with journalism: even then, mindlessly writing about films and royals I felt I was missing the point. You see, in everything I do, I feel I am part of this world, and addressing a uniquely middle class audience, preaching good food habits to the converted, soon makes me feel stifled.
My cooking can’t be limited to producing food fit for Instagram-perfect shots and needs a social dimension to feel meaningful. Similarly, my writing can’t be just about hip restaurants and cool takes on traditional recipes; it would feel empty without the occasional political undertones.
So, back to my week.
On Tuesday I stood in front of many big names in the London sustainable food world, to present one of my several little projects, the London Cafe Takeover, a chance for local cooks and residents to get together for a night at a local caff and share delicious food.
I felt ecstatic when in early March London Food Link granted me the 5 minutes to speak, and only wish I’d had more time to push my project forward since then. So far, my only certainties are three other cooks will help me with the first event taking place at a lovely cafe overlooking Clissold Park, but we still need to fix a date, probably in late June.
Presentation anxiety on Tuesday eve made way to an emotionally overloaded Wednesday, when I assisted the last of a round of classes held by Made in Hackney for a group of 10 adults with learning difficulties. I will deeply miss their enthusiasm and being told my food is “always so delicious” at the end of every class. There were hugs and presents, and I can’t wait to start a new course.
Finally, yesterday I spent my afternoon at one Facebook’s London offices with my managers at Made in Hackney. We had the unmissable opportunity to present our challenges to a team of Facebook experts, who in turn came back to us with a series of answers to implement in our social media strategy.
With no time to digest the dense amount of information they spouted at us, we then darted off to our colleague’s charming home for a princely vegan feast.
The party was a fundraiser for our team of 10 runners taking part in Run Hackney next Sunday and I spent the evening chatting to all manners of beautiful, interesting people.
Last night and this morning I was reflecting on how far I came in the last year or so. From my first tentative steps in blogging, to dreaming big with publishing hopes, from successful kitchen experiments and many untold disasters, to assisting in the Made in Hackney kitchen and hoping to one day lead my own class. And I feel proud. Because by adding a pinch of meaning to my food, I managed to stay true to myself.