Gathering at the table: finding connection through food


You know that you've got it pretty good when you get to spend your day job doing two things you love: writing and talking about food. Each month in 2014, Holstee has planned to explore a new theme through our content, our products and our conversations. February's theme is Connection, and I was lucky enough to consider this topic in one of my favorite ways: how we find connection from the table outward. See below for my post, originally written for the Holstee Blog.

It’s no secret that the Holstee team is really into food. From its preparation to discussing new ingredients and techniques, we’re a food-friendly family (and office!) from the first meal of the day to the last. And most likely a few snacks in between.

So what is it about food that brings us closer? From cultures and communities large and small, food is often a catalyst for togetherness, whether through foraging, hours spent in the kitchen or the important moments we share lingering at the table in reflection and personal exchange. As a team, we’ve found food to be an obvious connector through its power to deepen relationships and generate real conversation. At our weekly team lunches and bi-monthly dinners at our Work/Shop, shared meals equal some of our best shared experiences (a valuable tool in creating lasting connections) and our fondest memories.

My personal affinity for food has grown tremendously over the last few years of my life. While I have always been a fan of its consumption, I have more recently nurtured an appreciation for its preparation, for the hands-on experience that comes with creating a meal, so much so that I started this blog back in 2012. Cooking puts me in state of total awareness, of dedication and of purpose, which is another exercise in what it means to be deeply connected: to nourish, to show affection, to try new things, to care for those for whom you cook. From the super simple to the all day baking experiments, cooking can connect us to anything from special occasions to our best evenings spent at home.

What are some of your best connections that have happened over food? Join the conversation.
Roasted Tomato Risotto
Perfect for entertaining guests or an extra special meal for two, risotto is a simple but elegant way to connect with cooking. 
Ingredients: 4 cups of vegetable stock (heated), 1 cup of arborio rice, 1 small onion (finely chopped), 1 medium carrot (finely chopped), 1 stalk of celery (finely chopped), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 1 teaspoon oregano, 2/3 cup fresh tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons butter, 2-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan (plus more for garnish), 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved), olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. For the full recipe plus instructions, go here.