November 23, 2004

Who, me?

Misanthrope by nature, critic by training and multicultural by experience, I was born in Korea and along the way passed through many places including the East, the Midwest and Paris.
Many moves and an unfinished dissertation later, I now call Los Angeles my home-in-exile (but exile from where, I can't say), battling ethnic myopia, cultural mediocrity and traffic congestion. Having given up my literary studies I presently work at a non-profit institution doing my best to prove that yes, normal, intelligent and brown folks do populate L.A.
In my spare time, I love to eat and cook, take photos, create art, explore cultural institutions and play with my most wonderful husband, M, and my most delightful niece, L.

My relationship to food
I am not a professional cook or a professional food critic. I do not presume to be an expert in Korean cuisine or any other kind of cuisine. I make no claim to Authority or Comprehensiveness on many subjects I may write about here on this site.
I like to eat but I don’t live to eat. For health, moral and plain old practical reasons personal to me, I most often enjoy food in the context of family, friends, occasion, history or story, but perhaps not necessarily in that order.
I am a culinary traveler, not a culinary tourist. A culinary nomad at heart, the culinary traveler takes her time savoring each bite and feels at home everywhere and nowhere. She accepts her own culinary tradition with a critical eye and is ready to reject it. Unlike the Bowlesian traveler, however, the culinary traveler does not revel in colonialist or exoticist desire for otherness
I am a snob when it comes to taste, among other things. I do know when food tastes good and when it doesn’t. Just because you can afford to eat at exorbitantly priced restaurants doesn’t mean you have good taste.
Most of my knowledge on Korean cooking comes from my mother - through seeing, helping, copying and eating. She's a fantastic, natural and generous cook. I am a great learner and a great imitator when it comes to cooking.I am also endowed with great dexterity which helps when having to manipulate diverse shapes and textures with precise movements as one often does in cooking.
Most often I cook in my humble 1 m x 1.5 m windowless box of a kitchen with an electric grill (horror of horrors, I tell you) and assorted kitchen equipments that I’ve accumulated since high school when I started living on my own.Others, friends have dumped on me when they moved on to better things.I did splurge last year and bought myself a set of All-Clad pots and pans which will forever mark my timid entry into the high society of high-end kitchen equipments.
Delicious Biting is a highly selfish endeavor that exposes a small part of who I am. You are welcome to join in as friendly readers and comment writers.