CHEZ D: MIGRATION FOODS BY ARTISTS DONNING CHEF HATS
Broadcaster Margaret Gallagher serves up a taste of the most delicious event on the Spring Arts calendar
In Chez D (May 31, Gudrun Tasting Room, Richmond), writer, broadcaster and musician Margaret Gallagher will join a unique roster of artists trading their artistic tools for chef hats to create a tantalizing feast for the senses. In this event commissioned by the Powell Street Festival, artists will plate delicacies in a five-course menu that pays homage to ethnic roots, migratory paths (the ‘D’ stands for ‘Diaspora’), new lands, family restaurants and neighbourhood survival foods. Chez D artists include Open Sesame (Michael Speier), Komodo House (Gallagher and Angela Wan), Patrick Tubajon (Gudrun Tasting Room), Ari Tomita, and Cynthia Low & Leslie Komori.
Gallagher chatted with The Bulletin about her lifelong love affair with food, her rich cultural heritage, and how she uses food to tell a story.
Describe your previous chef experiences?
Most of my jobs in university and just after were food-related. I was a baker at Cheesecake Etc for years, and worked in delis and as a waitress. I do a food column for the CBC Radio’s Early Edition, and I used to host a national food show for CBC with Fred Lee. As for Angela Wan and myself, we’re both largely self-taught home cooks. We’d been friends for a long time when we decided to start cooking up SE Asian feasts for friends, and we moved into catering Asian Heritage Month events and the occasional “guerilla restaurant” experience where we took over friends’ spaces for music/food events.
How is cuisine creation different from your other artistic outlets? How is it similar?
It’s different because it’s tactile and visual. As a writer/broadcaster and musician, I work with sound and words. They are similar to cuisine in that they all tell a story, and in the case of live music and radio transmissions, like food they are consumed by the senses, and then gone except for the memory.
How will your dish reflect the event’s theme of migration?
Through ingredients, culinary techniques and presentation, we promise to tell a story that draws on our own roots from SE Asia and from here. It’s interesting to think about the roots of personal migration now, since I have a new child whose roots are spread all over the world (her father is also a hapa, with roots in the Middle East and Europe). I think a lot about how her family cultural history will be transmitted to her, and food is such a part of that.
Chez D takes place at Gudrun Tasting Room (150-3500 Moncton Street) on May 31, 2010. The doors open at 7:00pm and the tasting commences at 7:30pm. Tickets are $35 – $40 and can be obtained through advance purchase only. For tickets or more information, call 604.683.8240, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.powellstreetfestival.com.