Laughing with your love over some food from a home cooked meal…
Catching up with old friends at your favorite restaurant…
Cooking with your family in preparation for a holiday…
Having no choice but to eat at home because of a worldwide quarantine (hopefully not much longer!)...
Why is it that so many of our traditions and habits circulate around sharing a meal with loved ones? Beyond the simple fact that we rely on a caloric intake to sustain energy, breaking bread can also be a strong catalyst for bonding with each other.
During a time that can feel so isolating, cooking with a loved one at home or doing a virtual dinner party can have a huge positive impact on our well-being!
Shaun Hergatt, the highly awarded head chef and partner at Vestry in SoHo New York predicts:
"In 2020, we’ll see American fine dining take on a new and more accessible form to address a shift in the way people are eating. Younger generations, who are dining out in larger groups and more frequently than ever, are placing value on restaurants that they feel comfortable in and can return to. There will always be a place for special occasions' dining in the industry, but I predict more upscale hospitality concepts will adapt their offerings to match a more social and communal style of eating, using international dining cultures (like Israeli and Korean) as inspiration.” (Via foodandwine.com)
The essential need to consume food is deeply instinctual, at the root of our need to survive. Sharing a meal is one of the most universal expressions of love. Learning cooking techniques from our elders and passing the knowledge down through generations is one of the oldest human traditions we have.
Food as a Vehicle to Bridge and Experience Culture
As these culinary traditions are passed down, they become deeply ingrained and connected to the overall culture. In an American setting, immigrants from all over the globe carry recipes from “the homeland.” This phenomena allows for fusion and creation, expanding on these traditions.
This effect doesn’t only play out in the American culinary habits. Adventurous eaters are able to experience the stories, flavors, and qualities of another culture as well. Food has symbolic meaning all around the world.
By sharing a meal, we tap into a source of deep connection. Ayelet Fishbach at the University of Chicago researches this very topic. With her colleague, Kaitlin Woolley, a series of experiments were run testing the effects of eating together. She was quoted in an NPR podcast hosted by David Green:
“I think that food really connects people. Food is about bringing something into the body. And to eat the same food suggests that we are both willing to bring the same thing into our bodies. People just feel closer to people who are eating the same food as they do. And then trust, cooperation, these are just consequences of feeling close to someone.”
At College Chefs, we’re proud to uphold the tradition and bonding opportunity of communal dining. The period during college is a period of growth, expansion and learning- all things requiring a healthy nutritional base to flourish. Sharing a meal with house members creates a community and fosters opportunity to create deep, life long connections.
What are you cooking tonight? Whether you’re exploring cultures on your own or engaging in a communal meal with others (in person or virtually!)… tag us in your culinary creations! Our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter stay ripe with mouthwatering inspiration.