By Alysha Radia
I’M STARTING A MAGAZINE and this is exactly how it began –
11pm. A Thursday night. The light of a streetlamp dimly glows from outside. Alysha’s face is drawn after a long day. She collapses on the sofa, limbs sprawled. Elisa, her flatmate, looks up at her, with a serious expression riddled all over her face. She puffs on a cigarette limply held between her two fingers. The smoke billows out the ajar window.
Elisa: (with a sigh “Don’t you think there’s something wrong with our generation’s relationship with food?”
She scrolls through Instagram.
Alysha: “What do you mean? I think our generation is more obsessed with food than ever.”
Elisa: “Obsessed with the idea of food, but not with food itself. People care more about what’s on their timeline versus what’s actually on the plate.”
Alysha: “Wow Elisa you’re so cool. And you’re so right. It’s sad how in this day and age, to appeal to the average *millennial*, how eye-catching a dish is or how *edgy* the concept of it is, is far more important than how it actually tastes.”
This real, not-fake actual legitimate conversation was how it began, and it developed into a long discussion about our love for food, and how there are few spaces for our generation to talk about it it in this way.
We want to promote a more mindful relationship with food by creating a platform where people can engage with food it in both a practical and emotional way. It’s a magazine on food as a reality; food as something intrinsic to who we are and to our everyday lives. We want the magazine to be a space where we, our readers and our contributors can meditate on food at every level – from lofty molecular gastronomy to the feeling of eating a delicious, home-made, melty cheese toasty after a night out. Without any pretence.
Bare in mind, the magazine won’t claim authority over any subject in the slightest. Although we’re both lifelong passionate foodies, we’re both professional amateurs: I run a small baking business and Elisa has been a chef for just over a few months. We’re both constantly learning and discovering new things about cooking and its many issues and intricacies, and The Sink/Chew will be a platform for us to invite others to learn and grow with us. Our tone will be colloquial but not patronising. Relaxed yet deliberate.
Some content ideas:
*Produce – so for example we’d like to go and speak to fishmongers, grocers and butchers etc. – to talk about the problems that they face but also to seek practical advice like ‘how do you pick a good aubergine/carrot/etc from the shops’, ‘how to avoid bad quality seafood’, ‘what can you do with a lacklustre tomato?’. Things we’d genuinely love to know, and think others will too.
*World cuisines – We’d love to talk about cuisines in a less restaurant focussed and more food focussed way. We will talk about the history, culture, and influences of each cuisine as well as its primary ingredients and really dissect things such as their spice palettes and dining culture.
*Chefs – We’d go to the home kitchens of both professionals and home cooks to take photos, find out about their lives and the recipes that they make at home.
*Equipment and product reviews – We’d include completely honest advice and recommendations from craftsmen, traders and just people that cook! (best stand mixer? Best blender? Best pots? etc.) “What makes a good bowl?” “How do you sharpen a knife at home?” “Best knife for a home cook?” “Places to get unique, handmade ceramics.” Not because it’s pretentious to own great equipment but because it streamlines the whole cooking process, confidence with the subsequent successes giving you confidence to develop your skills and be more experimental.
Oh, and that name? We can’t decide whether to call the magazine ‘The Sink’ (because sinks are the least appreciated yet one of the most vital kitchen appliances, and we ‘sink our teeth’ into things), or ‘The Chew’ (idk we just like it), so right now its being called Chew/Sink. So help us decide or suggest an alternative.
So now, it’s over to YOU. Yes, you. We also need lots and lots of help beyond the name. We want writers, designers, drinkers, eaters, photographers, illustrators, poets, anyone with an opinion on the subject really, to help us out and make this a reality. I think with the eclectic skillset of SCA pitching in it could be a great success, and could be a great opportunity to exercise those writing and design chops that we will be trying to hone throughout the year.
Elisa sighs, takes another drag from her cigarette before assertively putting it out. She looks up at Alysha, her eyes now filled with satisfaction.
Elisa: “Yeah, I think that’s all we need to say. You should probs just send it in. I’m hungry.”
Alysha: “Yeah me too.”