The influence of food on my identity

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. (650 words)


It was but another Saturday morning – famished and alone in a house of quiet. The family, while knowing that their attempts to prevent me from cooking are futile, creates obstacles such as hiding cooking oil or disabling the stove. I have as a result become more adaptable and resourceful with confronting each challenge; for cooking is an undertaking inseparable from my daily routine ever since my parents handed me the knife and pan for the first time. I have been privileged to taste the finest of cuisines, but the most heartwarming meals I had were in the comfort of my humble abode.

The formative years of my taste buds were when I was raised by my grandaunt, whose culinary skills disguised an explosion of flavors in what would seem as a mere bowl of porridge. Chinese recipes – especially those with rich heritage – have a special place in my heart. The simplicity effortlessly evokes sentiments of familiarity, joy and a tinge of sadness, all at the same time. It is thus of my view that food is a means to connect with the other; to bridge two human beings and allow them to share an emotional connection. ‘Baptism by fire’ – a very apt metaphor considering the numerous times I suffered burns and scalds while rushing out a dish...

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