A Congee and a Meal for Happiness | Meet the 6 Good Food designers
What kind of purely plant-based dishes do you want to set out on your New Year's dinner table?
On this topic, as the 2020 New Year is approaching, Good Food and Xia Chufang cooperated to collect New Year's health menu. After some tough choices, 19 Good Food designers made it to the final.
On January 4, it was a sunny day, before entering the local family to show their skills, Good Food designers, local villagers, children and friends from afar gathered in the warm sun room of Nanshan school to talk about their own food ideas, food-related stories and expectations for the future.
The stories sharing below that we hope can recreate those precious moments and the good thoughts and actions born from them will continue to develop.
01 Two seeds in the heart of Chef Lee
In 2010, an earthquake hit Italy. One traditional cheese factory was completely damaged that it had to sell dozens of tons of cheese in a month or it would go bad. At that time, the local restaurant association in Italy mobilized all the chefs to develop cheese-based menus to promote sales. This issue has touched me a lot, which makes me think that as a cook, you can not only do some things in a limited space and time, but also do many things, some of which are even beyond your imagination.
During the period of Brazilian football World Cup, there was also a very meaningful activity - famous chefs from all over the world formed a team and went to the local residential areas in Brazil, cooking a big meal for the poor, the wanderer and the homeless with the expired ingredients from the local supermarket and some of the less good looking ingredients that were abandoned by people in the market. It makes people feel that everyone has the right to enjoy a well-prepared meal, but it takes experience and wisdom to create it. These two stories planted seeds in my heart, and I think if there is such a similar activity in my life, work environment, I will definitely participate in it.
02 Zhang Xiaoma's wish: to subvert tradition and innovate food
I had never really thought about the things we take for granted before, and it was only after I became a vegetarian that I suddenly realized the incredible connection between food and everything. I would like to share a data with you. In China's social media, 62% of people share delicious food once a month, and 17% of people share food once a day, which means at least 200 million food-related photos are generated every day. Why do we keep on sharing our food? Maybe food is no longer about filling the stomach, it's more about enjoyment, joy, generosity, celebration and love.
Since food is given such a beautiful wish, it should not bring us so much burden and cost, such as the cost of health, the cost of the environment, the cost of life. Some might say that eating meat is part of our tradition, part of our culture, part of our memory. But what I want to say is that food is the same as our society, which needs to be developed and improved. So when we inherit the traditional culture and create memory, the more important thing is innovation. Just like after having a car, people no longer to ride a horse, or like coach, so I wonder when we have more plant-based diet, we naturally would not think of fish and meat. Because food has such power to connect with everything, I believe that it is actually the key to the future. If we change our attitude towards food and the way we eat from now on, we can create a more civilized world and culture.
03 Tong Qiqi: simplicity is the true taste of life
A dry lotus seed after soaking in water can grow 4~5 pieces of lotus leaves. what about beans, mung beans seeds? Or what about meat, if you soak it in water?
I was particularly influenced by a quote from “World Peace Diet”: "Food, like all physical matter, its essential is energy and vibration, and a expression of consciousness." What is the difference between animal-based food and plant-based food if we feel it from the perspective of supernatural energy that we cannot see with our eyes? What emotions do animals have if they are raised in poor conditions and fed with bad food? What are their emotions when they are faced with slaughter? How does this affect the human body and mind? What about the growth of plants and their effects on humans? I expect food to be natural, healthy, simple and environmentally friendly. May our species on earth live in harmony. May all species on earth live in harmony with the earth mother.
04 Gao Sai: food can convey deep happiness
My entry named gathering of the best in the nature. At that time, I was in Dali, a city in Yunnan province, the fennel in the small courtyard grew very well. Coincidentally, a friend from Kaifeng sent edible fresh chrysanthemum to me, and then I used mushroom that have been soaked and swelled, fungi, dried beans, vermicelli to make steamed dumplings. I choose ingredients based on the five elements of color. As we all know, five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth) corresponds to five colors（white, green, black, red, yellow), and five colors correspond to five internal organs（lungs, liver, kidney, heart, spleen）. The health of the five internal organs is the basis of the normal operation of the human body. Therefore, we can enrich the food when we mix it, so as to nourish our body and mind better. Of course, in different seasons will have some focus. For example, now is winter, so we need to tonify kidney water, with eating more black fungus, black beans, black rice and so on.
The way of keeping healthy of the ancestors is hidden in our diet. Great truths are always simple. Each of us is deeply rooted in our desire to return to simplicity, nature and beauty. When we use it to connect with ourselves and food, we can resonate with food. I think food not only nourishes our bodies and minds, but also conveys a deep sense of happiness. It was the best experience I've ever had on a vegetarian diet, and I hope I can pass that happiness on to more people.
05 Momogu: the taste of grandma’s food
My food memories are all from my grandmother, because I was brought up by her. At that time, she lived near Xiba, a place in Yichang City, Hubei Province,so she often brought Xiba tofu to cook for me. Xiba tofu comes from the Xiba’s local cold-water wells. It is soft and melted in the mouth. The food made by it is delicious. At the audition, I made a tri-colored quinoa fried rice with dried quinoa and Xiba tofu, with a little of homemade tempeh and sesame oil, then put it inside a red pepper and baked it in the oven for a few minutes. There are two principles in my cooking. One is that I think food has its own flavor with no need for any more seasoning. Another one is that the reason why I do it before cooking, and it may give human value to food. I hope the food I cook is “warm” and can bring warmth to my family.
I wasn't truly a vegetarian before, but I'm making a shift to it. Because I was busy eating takeout after work, which led to a weak stomach. Later, I would make porridge using black beans and millet at home in the morning for a week. After a week, I felt really comfortable. So, now I'm trying to influence my own family to eat healthier.
I work in an environmental monitoring unit, and every day I hear my colleagues say, what is the atmospheric index today, how’s the water condition today, what is the soil pollution index today, so I might be more concerned about how we can get ecologically healthy food. It is important that we think about what we eat, which will also influence our next generation.
06 Xiangxiang: nourish the vitality of children
I have two children, and their birth was a big challenge for me because I was a busy professional woman in Beijing. When my children were born, I was thinking how can I raise such little kids healthily? After a long period of study, exploration and practice, I found that only plants that grow on healthy land and where microbes are abundant have vitality, and we nourish our vitality with the vitality of plants. So I brought my children to Xinzhuang to go to school. There are many good farms nearby, which support our three meals a day. The school also has a very good environment and food education philosophy to support the growth of the children.
Maybe kids don't know what organic food means yet, but they feel like it's a way for mom, dad, school teachers to love and care for them, and protect their health. Our children can go three days without homework, but it is impossible to go three days without meals, so every meal is the greatest support for the child. What is on the plate is not only healthy ingredients and food, but also the future. It is the future of our children, our families, our society and, more importantly, the future of mankind, because we are all part of a community with a Shared future. When things go well, we can enjoy happy life, also eat well; when things go wrong, the nourishment we get from food can prompt us to graciously tread uncharted waters.
That’s all the story for today.
May you all enjoy a great weekend and a great meal~
Thanks photographer Xiaoye for recording the Xinzhuang Good Food Festival
Listen to some music on the sunny weekend:)
All that is beautiful and bright, all that is alive