Culinary Anthropologist

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  1. Flavours of Fieldwork Secret Kitchen series

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    Flavours of Fieldwork
    in association with the SOAS Food Studies Centre

    Anna is hosting a series of dinners based on anthropology PhD students’ research in Morocco, Japan, China and Greece. Each dinner will bring to life recipes and stories from fieldwork in home kitchens, restaurants, shops and archives, reveal some surprising insights into cuisines you thought you knew, and demonstrate ways in which research into food contributes so much to anthropology today. Expect welcome drinks, feasting at communal tables and a delicious night out!

     

    K Graf pic Street marketA Moroccan Feast
    Fri 21st & Sat 22nd October 2016,
    with Katharina Graf

    Katharina spent months mastering the crafts of bread-making and couscous steaming, not to mention negotiating Marrakech’s street markets. She learnt to cook like the young Moroccan women around her – by sight, sound and touch – without a recipe book or set of scales in sight. Katharina’s research interests include the relationship between cooking and gender, the transmission of cooking knowledge across generations, and how home cooking reflects broader social changes in Morocco.

    Secret Kitchen oyakiRegional Japanese Cooking
    Fri 9th & Sat 10th December 2016
    with Celia Plender

    Regional food in Japan reveals a rich variety of cooking styles, tastes and ingredients. While some of these are seen as deeply embedded in the history and cultural practices of an area, others are identified as recently invented ‘traditions’. Both give insights into the social construction of local food and national cuisine. A decade ago Celia worked in a Tokyo restaurant and has since then regularly cooked and written about Japanese food. This dinner follows a recent trip to research regional Japanese cooking.

    Goanese balichao in a Macau wet market January 2016 copy tCantonese Masala
    Fri 17th & Sat 18th February 2017
    with Mukta Das

    Take a journey into the kitchens and cafes of 19th century Canton as we explore how experiments with spices have resulted in dishes that are now part of Macanese, Hong Kong or Cantonese culinary heritage. Mukta recently spent a year in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou with professional chefs and home cooks, and in the archives, uncovering some of the ways the centuries old maritime spice trade carved deep and aromatic channels into the everyday cooking in these old cities.

    A Greek Moveable Feast
    Fri 17th & Sat 18th March 2017
    with Nafsika Papacharalampous

    Nafsika undertook fieldwork in the delis and restaurant kitchens of Athens, following the journey of Greek peasant foods of the past (such as trahanas or beef tongue) into the urban present. She is now writing up her PhD on Greek poverty and artisan foods and their relationship to national identity, tradition, heritage and memory. She is also an experienced professional cook, with a passion for old Greek cookery books.

     

    To book your place:
    All events start at 7.30pm and cost £45. To book your place email Anna by clicking the ‘book now’ button below with the following: which dinner(s) you would like to attend, the number of people in your group, whether you prefer the Friday or Saturday or could do either, and whether anyone in your group has any special dietary requirements.

    Event:Flavours of Fieldwork Secret Kitchen series
    Date(s):October 2016 to March 2017
    Time:7.30pm - 11pm
    Location:London N5 (Arsenal tube 2 mins walk)
    Price:£45
    Book now
    flagPlease read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place. Thank you.
  2. Secret Kitchen, Fri 9th & Sat 10th Dec 2016 – regional Japanese cooking

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    A butcher's stall at Makishi Market Naha

    Regional food in Japan reveals a rich variety of cooking styles, tastes and ingredients. While some of these are seen as deeply embedded in the history and cultural practices of an area, others are identified as recently invented ‘traditions’. Both give insights into some of the social and political factors involved in the construction of local food and national cuisine.

    Celia Plender profile picThis special Secret Kitchen is a collaboration with fellow anthropologist, chef and food writer Celia Plender. A decade ago Celia worked in a Tokyo restaurant kitchen. Since then she has regularly cooked and written about Japanese food. In the spring of 2016 she returned to Japan to research regional Japanese food and cooking with a grant from the Yan-kit So Memorial Award For Food Writers on Asia. Celia will be presenting some of her recipes and findings from this recent research trip across Japan.

    The menu shows off some lesser known aspects of Japanese cuisine – culinary traditions both old and new from Okinawa, the cluster of sub-tropical islands in the far south of Japan.

    Taco rice – a fusion dish of sticky rice with Tex Mex-style beef taco toppings

    Jimami tofu – peanut milk tofu with a sweet-salty sauce, ginger and nori

    Goya champuru – stir-fried bitter melon with pork belly and egg

    Asajiru – sea lettuce soup

    Jushi – savoury rice with shiitake mushrooms, carrots and pork

    Sata andagi – Okinawan doughnuts, served with ice cream

    As an anthropologist Celia’s work focuses on food-based responses to social and economic change, consumption and co-operatives. But Japanese foodways will always be her passion.

    Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you make your booking. And do book early to avoid disappointment!

     

    Event:Secret Kitchen
    Date(s):Friday 9th & Saturday 10th December 2016
    Time:7.30pm - 11pm
    Location:London N5 (Arsenal tube 2 mins walk)
    Price:£45
    Book now
    flagPlease read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place. Thank you.

    hakodate

  3. Miso

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    Miso is Japanese fermented soybean paste.  It looks like peanut butter and smells bad.  But don’t let this put you off.  It adds an intense and savoury depth and complexity to many dishes.  

    It is high in ‘umami’ – the fifth (and best) basic taste, after sweetness, saltiness, bitterness and sourness.  Other umami-rich foods are Parmesan, soy sauce, fish sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes and some meats.  They are all high in tasty glutamates (as in monosodium glutamate, which occurs naturally in seaweed and was isolated and developed as a food additive back in 1907).

    It’s good for you too, as it’s very tasty, yet low in calories, and also full of protein, beneficial bacteria and B vitamins.

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  4. Black cod with miso

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    It was fairly clear in the end:

    Black cod: 9; Roast chicken: 6;
    Aubergine soup: 5;
    Squash soup: 2

    Thanks for all the votes.  You were right about the squash soup – it’s
    not quite as nice as the other dishes.  I’ll send the recipes for the
    chicken and the aubergine soup another week.  The squash soup has
    obligingly resigned.  (Voting has gone pretty well over here in the US
    of A too.)

    black cod with miso.jpg

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  5. Pot stickers

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    OK, this one looks a little long and complicated… BUT you should try
    it as really it’s easy and the results are delicious.  Let me know which
    option you like best if you try them.  I guess Sainsbury’s might not do
    pot sticker wrappers and you may need visit your local Chinatown, if you
    have one.  They will be in the refrigerated section.

    Pot stickers.JPGThere are hundreds of different recipes for pot stickers.  The Japanese version tends to use thinner wrappers, which I prefer to the more doughy Chinese version.  I was inspired to experiment with different fillings and wrappers by the delicious pot stickers you can get in little dim sum restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  I couldn’t decide which of these three fillings I liked best, which is why you’re getting them all…

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