What is food? An excuse.

What is food?

Such a simple question. Yet an answer can be easy and surface level, or it can be deep with many connotations.

I am a cook by trade. I love my job. I love working with my hands. I love working with food. I love working with people. I love my job. I am constantly thinking about food. About ingredients, dishes, techniques, meals… Perhaps to an unhealthy level at times… When I need to focus on my school work I think about food. Whenever and wherever I walk, I end up eating flowers or random plants that look edible-ish. My IG feed is cluttered with pretty food. My bookshelf is overflowing with under-utilized cook books… Well not unhealthy level. Who dictates unhealthy anyways. I like it. Food.

But what is food?

Sure, it is sustinance. It keeps us energized. It keeps us going. It suppresses the hangry. It can be cravings. It can be elegant. It can be utilitarian. It can be quick. It can go all night.

But what is food?

Food is an excuse.

Food is what you use to bring people to the table. People that you care about, people that you love, people that you enjoy, people that you want to get to know. Food is the pollen that attracts busy bees to sit, stop buzzing and enjoy a flower together.

“Let’s get lunch!” “Can you come over for dinner?” “I heard this place is fantastical, let’s go together!” “Would you like to have dinner together?”

Food is an excuse! A great one too. It taps into a primal aspect of humanity… We sit together, we chew together, we drink together, we nourish together, we commune together, we enjoy one another, and we poo apart (hopefully…), (please don’t poop together…), (facetime counts…).

The time of day that the meal is had indicates much… Breakfast is for lovers, lunch is for business, and dinner is for family. And brunch is for social media…… Tell me I’m wrong. Lunches with friends are quick connections. Touch point. Boom bap go. The best dinners are long ones, where mojitos flow, finger foods are aplenty, and when a thick web of connection and fellowship is spun.

Next time you share a meal, think about the why. Why am I having this meal… What is going on here… It may give you a greater appreciation for who you’re sharing this meal and moment with. Or it can help you see that you don’t need another lunch with so-and-so. At the end of the day it’s just food. Don’t take it so seriously.

The person matters, not the plate.