The Friday Feast "project" has been an idea simmering for a little while now. A range of inspiration led to this: the global trekking of food discovery in the Anthony Bourdain show, the intense chef challenges posed in the recent spurt of cooking reality shows, reading a variety of foodie blogs and experiencing the beauty of cookbooks with stellar food photography and recipes that read as poetry.
And last, but not least of course, an appreciation for food and enjoyment of the solidarity that feasting with others bring. Be it a backyard barbecue with hearty grilled dishes that have been marinated just right, crafting platters of delicious hor d'oeuvres for a house party or simply concocting a wonderfully cooked home meal- it's all part of the feast and of course bringing together company, be it two or twenty.
Friday night, as the traditional landmark to the end of the work week, has a certain flair to it. Of course the feast can happen at any time. The Friday Feast is my metaphor for that time when you gather with family and friends, light the fire of dialogue and break bread with your company of loved ones. Be it a night of simple home cooking, a pub crawl on the town with good brews and appetizers or a finely tuned and prepared meal, it's all part of the Friday Feast.
One added inspiration to getting the project rolling was the current issue of Travel + Leisure that arrived in the post this summer. Dedicated as "The Food and Travel Issue" the entire mag is a mouth watering, page turning foodie's dream. And I'm not even a true foodie. Yet. The July edition profiles food culture in Sydney, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and reels in social media discussions of readers "ultimate" globe trekking food tours.
A beautifully written article, "Vietnam: The Ultimate Food Tour," had me expanding my mental horizons beyond my sole, yet absolutely wonderful, experience of Pho as well as, for the first time, envisioning travel to Hanoi. How could I have known that this Southeast Asian city is famed not only for reverence and extensive use of fresh and local ingredients, but also coffee culture?
"For all their obsessive eating and snacking, Hanoians tend not to linger at table. Most finish dinner in seven minutes flat. Where they do while away hours is at the local cafe. Hanoians drink a lot of coffee.....The bohemian soul of Hanoi's cafe scene is Nang, a 1956 landmark on Hang Bac Street...."
-"Vietnam: The Ultimate Food Tour," by Peter Jon Lindberg, Travel + Leisure July 2010 edition
And so, the edible and drinkable journey begins.....