My family always jokes about how my brain’s capacity is split between art, books, makeup and most dominantly, food. From the way I eat (slowly, to savor) to how I discuss it (as if I’m a food influencer talking to my adoring followers), my love of food has remained unparalleled throughout my life. In half of my childhood photos, I’m eating. When we eat out or travel somewhere, my family automatically turns to me to make any dining-related decisions. I made a Yelp account just to look at photos of dishes at restaurants I could only hope to try if I had more breakfasts, lunches and dinners in my life. I’m part of the probably small percentage of people who peruse the Instagram Explore page, which the algorithm has filled with videos and photos of droolworthy dishes and savory snacks. When we vacationed in our home country of the Philippines for a month in 2017, one of my older sisters (the previous photo editor), took a video clip of almost every meal I ate throughout the trip. You may have even seen me in a few of the food videos that The Daily Campus put out.
And I know I’m not alone in loving the versatility of food. From its importance to culture to the sustenance it provides the body to the personal experiences people have with it, food is one of the most powerful unifiers of people across time and place. I seek to explore this profound love of food in my column. I hope to share some of my favorite dishes and recipes from cuisines around the world while discussing the culture and history that accompanies them, praise (or bemoan) the various eateries I’ve been fortunate enough to try and review my latest food exploits.
Maybe you’ll get to see me try out the latest cooking trends or a taste test of whatever snack I’m eyeing (carrot cake Oreos). The exciting thing about food is that there is always more to experience. I may not be an expert chef nor a master critic. However, I look forward to sharing my thoughts and learning from those who can help me have a greater appreciation for what I’m making or eating.
I know I’m grateful for food, and I can only hope that others share my appreciation. There are so many people who do not have the necessary access to food that everyone should have and I want to discuss that in my column as well as how myself and others can actively address that. Furthermore, there is a startlingly high number of people who currently live or have lived with an eating disorder, experience disordered thoughts or have an unhealthy relationship with food. That is another topic that I know would be important for me to address and learn more about.
Food garners much thanks. I would like some to extend to Courtney Gavitt, The Daily Campus digital editor, who came up with this charming column title. I also would like to pay respects to Melissa Scrivani, the previous associate life editor and my food column predecessor. I know this isn’t exactly like Melissa’s Menu, but I hope I can continue its spirit.