Growing up, food was an integral part of my childhood. Obviously I have to eat to survive, but food was much more than that. It was making tortillas late on Friday night to have them ready for a big breakfast the next morning while hearing stories of my grandparents' grandparents. Stories are shared with food and can be shared over food too. It is a universal language that can bring understanding to entire populations from one dish.
In recent years I have come to understand the transcendence of food. I have always seen and experienced it, but now it is easier to see the influence around entire cultures and populations. Keeping your eyes, ears, and mind open to some of these dishes can change your entire outlook on people. Anytime I go to eat at a new restaurant or home, there is something special about each and every time.
Another major way to connect with the food is working at a restaurant. I have worked at them since I was 16 and still work at one today. Not only do the owners have a lot to share about the food, but also the people that cook it day in and day out. Everyone in the restaurant has their own story and they all meet back at the things the set on your table; food.