Kitchens: such an archetypal space, embedded in the deepest of childhood memories and most vivid of adult encounters with caring for others and one’s self. Maybe that’s putting it in slightly pretentious terms, but it’s true. I don’t think it’s going too far to say that the kitchen is the heart of the home.
I mean, it’s where plant and animal matter gets transformed the substance of food, which in turn provides energy for our human bodies. When you think of it in those terms, it’s hard to deny the visceral significance of the space. Although this is not commonly talked about, I believe that a lot of people feel it in their bones. This is evidenced by the never-ending waves of enthusiasm for contemporary kitchen renovations. Melbourne surely has its fair share of people who feel this need to honour the kitchen in this way.
This line of thinking ought to be more out in the open. Food is the centre point of human culture and always has been – at least, that’s my thesis, and I’m willing to get into an argument about it. I mean, we might have these fabulous designer kitchens, but are we really using them to their full potential of bringing together family and friends around the hearthfire? Do we really comprehend the significance of taking a plant or animal life for our own personal gain? Are we connected to the changing of the seasons and their impact on our food supply?
When we buy Queen Cuisine meals or fast food from a multinational corporation, we are not nourishing our body at the level that it calls for, or deeply acknowledging the journey the plant and animal matter has undergone in order to become food. The kitchen is a place in which we can, if we choose, return to an understanding of what food is and where it comes from.