Believe it or not, this is my final installment of Hollieats for The Daily Campus. Two years ago, I took the torch from Melissa Scrivani as the resident food writer of the section and the newspaper, and I’ve been so grateful for the opportunity to share my passion through my writing. When I started writing the column, my one goal was to write about food, whether it be recipes, reviewing restaurants, talking about the seasonal food at Trader Joe’s or discussing the dining industry. Hollieats has been a wonderful constant in my undergraduate career, throughout a pandemic during which going to the grocery store was the only activity I enjoyed during the week, or refining my Yelp search skills when I traveled to new places.
Growing up, food was always supremely important in my household, and its cultural and familial significance has solidified its importance to me. Our family revolves around food, and so many memories have been made over a meal or making a dish. That hasn’t changed. But somewhere along the way, food became my “thing,” and to my friends and family, I was the designated dining researcher for trips and trusted authority on food and drink.
My column continually reminds me that writing about what I like is easy, but also difficult — because I’m so passionate about food, I usually have a lot to say, and I sometimes struggle to get it “right.” But then the deadline comes or I realize I’ve droned on or I feel like I addressed all I could, and the article is published the next day. Suffice to say, I’ve learned a lot about myself, the dining industry and food’s place in society as I’ve written Hollieats.
There are some articles that are easier to write than others, like my glowing review of “Take Out with Lisa Ling” and my favorite picks at Trader Joe’s. Others were fun and unique, like my feature of my fellow foodie friend Rebecca Mailhot and my friends’ and my favorite pasta shapes. And other articles were definitely difficult, like my “Diversity in dining” pieces. Sometimes, I would write them after a long day and was unmotivated, but my mood was always improved and energized after discussing food-focused media like “Chef” and “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” or reminiscing about my latest trip to one of my favorite restaurants. If you’ve read or contributed to any of these, I’m grateful you’ve joined me on this journey.
I’m constantly inspired and curious about the latest food trends, the popular restaurants in the area and new items available to try. However, at the end of the day, I remember that food fosters community, and the best places to look at food’s impact is through families and cultures and how those are incorporated into society. As you may have learned throughout my writing of the column, my identity as a Filipina-Chinese American is important to me. I’m sure many people culturally resonate with the status of food in their lives. Or at the very least, many people resonate with the memories that associate certain foods, like a comfort food from childhood or a certain birthday cake or the most delicious bowl of pasta they’ve eaten at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant they ended up in after hiding from the rain. Cherish those feelings, and cherish your food.
This may sound like an end — and it is — but I’m excited to try something new. I will always be passionate about writing, food and trying new things. So follow my new food-focused Instagram, @hollieats_, and catch a bite of my life.