Connecting culture and community through food stories
For Ivory Loh (MPH ’20, Nutritional Sciences, Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics), food is not only a way to break barriers and build relationships — it’s also a way to share stories and preserve culture and traditions.
Loh led a project through funding from the 2019-2020 Husky Seed Fund to create the Husky Cookbook, which features over 60 diverse recipes and food stories, showcasing the diversity across campus.
“I hope that Huskies will continually reflect on how food, family and culture have and continue to shape who they are, and use food as a way to connect with others to build lasting relationships,” says Loh.
In a pandemic-free world, Loh envisions the Husky Cookbook would evolve into a monthly potluck, where members of the UW community would get to know one another through food storytelling and learning about new cultures and cuisines. A group of SPH students launched a "Healthy Eating" social media campaign series in winter 2020 that features online cooking classes and recipes from the Husky Cookbook.
To read the recipes and food stories from the UW community, visit: thewholeu.uw.edu/HuskyCookbook
Submit your recipe and food story by scanning the QR code.
SPH Food Stories
Recipe photos and food story excerpts from SPH community members
Japanese Nasu Miso Soup
Emily Sakaida, Food Systems, Nutrition and Health, BA 2021
“I have always been inspired by my mother’s cooking because in it I see her hard-working character, gentleness and her ability to spread joy so effortlessly through the meals she lovingly makes for our family and others.”
Belgian Stoofvlees (Beer Beef Stew)
Michelle Bulterys, Epidemiology, PhD Student
“Stoofvlees is a staple food in Belgium. This is my favorite dish that my dad makes, mainly because the entire house smells like culinary heaven all day.”
Ruth’s Okra and Potatoes
Sara Woolcock, Nutritional Sciences, MPH, 2020
“My mom grew up in Georgia, and her favorite Southern food is okra. But where I grew up, the closest place we could find okra was about an hour’s drive away. When my mom did make the pilgrimage to buy okra, it would be the special dish that evening. Now, my mom always cooks this recipe when she comes to visit me in Seattle, and it reminds me of the taste of home.”
Thai Basil Pork
Megumi Matsushita, Environmental Toxicology, PhD Candidate
“My friend Jane would invite me over for weeknight dinners with a rotating list of 'food friends.' She'd cook these meals for us and provide a welcoming space for us to connect across different identities and cultures. When we all reunited at Jane's wedding years later, the food friends instantly reconnected by reminiscing over which of Jane's dishes we ate together.”
Elsie Pring, Student Academic Services Assistant, SPH
“Yao Han is a kind of Cambodian hotpot made of a satay sauce, coconut milk, broth, palm sugar, and pounded herbs and roots. When the weather grew colder, my family would huddle around a large hotpot with produce from season’s prior and ‘steamboat.’ My family never had much but this dish reminds me of how family contributions growing, picking and cooking the seasonal foods mattered.”