Ep. 18: Aileen Suzara (Pt. 2) - Farmer, Collaborator, and Chef

If this is the first time you’re tuning in, you might wanna check out the previous episode as this is a two-part series with the ever-impressive Aileen Suzara, farmer, collaborator, and natural chef.  Aileen has been recognized many times for her work not only in addressing some of the most pressing food issues affecting us today but also in strengthening relationships in her community in the process.  She founded Sariwa Kitchen - which means “fresh” in Tagalog - to gather community and celebrate Filipino cuisine through pop-ups, catering, and workshops.  In the last episode, we covered her background and how she’s managed to integrate the many parts of her life into one cohesive story.  We also covered some basic techniques to become a self-sufficient cook and her mindsets on both growing and cooking food. 

Last episode, we covered Aileen's background, her approach to cooking, and how she's tied the various aspects of her life together.  In this episode, we delve a bit deeper into Sariwa and Aileen's dream of integrating food into the healthcare space.  We also take a philosophical look into the theme of “Resistance” (resistance to healthy food, resistance to “inauthentic” food, and more), maintaining presence and sanity, and the things that keep us from achieving our dreams.  Like I said, this was one of my most enjoyable episodes to record and edit and I highly suggest you listen to the end as Aileen has some pretty sage advice that applies not just to food but to life itself.  


3:00 - Getting over the “resistance” to healthy food // On Spam, Judgment, and Culture
7:30 - Getting over the “resistance” to perceived “inauthentic” food // On alternate histories
9:45 - Is Filipino food becoming overly accommodating to the American environment/palate? // On regional cuisines and breaking up the Filipino food “monolith"
13:35 - Colonized Food & the process of decolonization
    *Interview with Delicious Revolution (coming June 19)
    *"Decolonizing Filipinx Foods: Kamote (Sweet Potato)" on Hella Pinay
20:10 - Is “Healthy Food” a Luxury?
23:20 - Connecting Food to the Healthcare Space // Sariwa Kitchen
31:00 - Maintaining Presence and Balance
42:40 - On Dirty Socks: the things that keep us from achieving our dreams
    *On the experience interviewing with Al-Jazeera

Rapid Fire:
Most Influential Person: Monica Furlong, author of "Wise Child"
Most Useful Tool(s): Coconut Kabayo (Horse/Grater)
3 Ingredients That Describe Aileen: Chili, Garlic, Coconut
If Aileen's Life Story was written in one sentence: "What kind of ancestor do you want to be?"
Resource for the Common Person: "The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming" by Natasha Bowens

Vocab & Other Links:
Ube - Purple Yam
Pangasinan and Bicol - Provinces/Regions in the Philippines
Binakol - Chicken soup cooked with coconut water
Hiya - Tagalog term commonly translated as "shame" but whose meaning is closer to "a sense of propriety"
Kamote - Sweet Potato
La Cocina - San Francisco-based incubator kitchen
Roots Cafe - Hawaiian cafe inside a community clinic that also has a farm
"Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal" by Abigail Carroll

Follow the Story...
: Sariwa Kitchen
Instagram: @aileensuzara