A feast of family and tradition

A feast of family and tradition

Larry Reaves of Miami, Florida once lived a life steeped in crime and drugs, and after giving up that life he struggled to stay clean. Eventually, however, Reaves gave up his drug addiction and reconciled with his children. Now, his idea of ​​success is humble, but also enduring. “When I reconciled with my children,” he said, “it was the best thing—the best thing I ever did in my life.”

But you won’t learn about Reaves by watching a TV show about crime or addiction. Instead, it was a food show—Street food: USA on Netflix – which recently featured its story. Reaves makes and sells “souse”, a meaty soup of soul food. He started cooking the savory dish — and taking it to co-workers — when he was trying to keep clean, and now sells souse and other foods in his modest neighborhood.

With many of us stuck at home for the past couple of years, the pandemic has sparked a comeback for domestic arts. Remember when we all learned to make bread? But even before the pandemic, Americans were fascinated by food programming. Much of the entertainment media glorifies rapid shifts in morality – with self-determination at the forefront – and food programming is no exception. But some food programs promote enduring, traditional values ​​– the faithful nurturing others every day through cooking.

The contrast between two shows, Chef’s table and Street foodboth with some of the same producers, illustrates this cultural tension.

Netflix Chef’s table, created by David Gelb, is among the gastronomic series that caught our attention. Like many cooking shows, it appeals to Epicurean sensibilities within our culture: beautiful, challenging food designed to elevate the palate. Chef’s table uses lovely cinematography to profile prestigious chefs around the world, giving viewers a window into the gourmet world.

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Meals are often small but expensive, and the point is artistic expression. But some of that glitz and glamor doesn’t shine like it used to in a post-pandemic society where we’ve become more attuned to our need for community and belonging.

Gelb recently joined Brian McGinn for the third season of a different kind of food series, Street food: USA. Like the return of bread, the show reflects a new awareness of the importance of relationships and “tangible” living in response to the strong presence of technology and busyness in our daily lives. The show elevates traditional family and community values, and what makes the dishes special is the history and heritage of the featured cooks and vendors, rather than their nervousness or ambition. Many of them learned to cook from their parents or grandparents and continue in multigenerational family businesses.

Linda Green in Street Food: USA

Linda Green in Street Food: USA
Courtesy of Netflix

Filial responsibility runs through the show, including the need to support the family.

One episode features Juan Carlos “Billy” Acosta and his family’s food truck, Carnitas El Momo, in Los Angeles. Acosta stepped up to help support his family after his sister’s death, taking over the family business with his parents’ blessing. In another episode, Linda Green, the “Ms. YaKaMein” in New Orleans, says, “It’s very important that I stay on my path because I’m the head of my family. And if the head dies, everything dies.”

Yet another episode features Chef Tami Treadwell of Harlem Seafood Soul in New York. She cooks shrimp and grits and other comfort foods, exuding kindness and warmth to customers. She describes herself in terms of family relationships – as a mother and sister, putting customer love in her kitchen. Treadwell radiates hospitality, treating each customer like family in her affectionate conversation as she hands them generous portions of her homemade food.

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It is very important that I stay on my path because I am the head of my family. And if the head dies, everything dies.

The values ​​of love and simplicity in the show suggest that God’s design for the family shines through even in a fallen world. These people demonstrate that loving properly is not just feeling and feeling, but action, realizing the sense of community they value. Its path is through food, which uniquely materializes love so that the work involved comforts hearts and, at the same time, meets a real physical need.

In the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, God uses bread and wine as a means of grace for His people. Inside A meal with Jesus, author and pastor Tim Chester discusses how food itself is important in Jesus’ ministry – and ours – not just as an analogy: last and the last will be first. Jesus’ meals portray that day as he welcomes the outcasts and confronts the hypocrites and the self-sufficient.”

Inside Street food: USA, the outcasts, or at least the common people of the neighborhood, are invited and celebrated. The stories remind audiences that food – and the acts of cooking and participating – bring communities together and provide tangible provision for family and friends. For Christians, we can find reminders of Christ’s love and how He wants us to love others, even on cooking shows.

Source : wng.org

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About the Author: Steven Wiliem

A writer who is reliable in conveying information to the public who has a lot of interest in journalism.