every month RFP (recipes for the people)
will feature a fierce foodie(s). through these
profiles we hope to share food perspectives
through our cultures, arts, resistance, and
healing. we aim for an informed and spirited
approach to food, nutrition, cultural
consciousness, and the socially just appetite!
for FEBRUARY 2010 we got to interview
Kortney and get the recipe on
Vegan Mushroom Pie
(Kortney's version of a Shepherd’s pie)
Kortney Ryan Ziegler
identity: Artist and Intellectual
five word description: I’m always willing to learn
Current food crush: Mango’s, Strawberries and Yams of all sortspersonal website: kortneyrziegler.net
1) Why do you cook and what are your favorite foods?
I cook because I love to and because I have to. As a person who has been living on the budget of a student for all of my young adulthood, I have had to learn to cook because I can’t afford not to. As I have gotten older, however, I realized that I simply enjoy cooking. The smells, the recipes, and the unlimited possibilities of flavor—I love it all.
2) What or whom have been most the influential forces to how you understand eating, food, and critical food politics?
My grandmother has been the most influential person in my understanding of food. She was the sole guardian of my sister and myself and our food budget was based upon her meager retirement pension. There were many times that I can remember where our fridge had little to nothing inside of it but my grandmothers imagination would aid her in making the most fabulous and delicious meals. What I learned from her is that it doesn’t matter how many ingredients one may have, what does matter is how you use them.
3) I know you identify as a vegan. Could you talk more about your vegan politics as a person of color and as an LGBTQ/transcusious person?
My food identification is vegan primarily for health reasons than for political ones. As a graduate student, I am under constant stress and this has severely affected my digestive system. As a result, I have developed sensitivity to meat and dairy products. A vegan diet forces me to listen to my body and to reconsider what types of foods I put in it. Through this, I am able to maintain healthier stomach acid levels and it also keeps my energy levels high enough
I am also on a specific vegan bodybuilding diet that centralizes alternative proteins for the most efficient muscle definition. I am new to this so I am still learning and figuring things out.
4) What are the 3 ingredients your kitchen must have and why?
Three ingredients I must have in my kitchen are: yams; curry; and soy creamer. If I could cook a meal with yams everyday I would be happy. They are one of the most nutritionist foods that we can eat. I love curry because it is such a versatile spice. In fact, my curry yam recipe is out of this world! (I’ll save that for next time). Finally, soy creamer is a staple for me because I drink A LOT of tea and it taste so damn good in it.
5) If you could share table and eat with one person—alive or ancestor, who would it be? What would you eat? Would the menu be up to you?
If I could share a meal with anyone in the world, I have to admit, it would be my grandmother. She passed away six years ago and has not been able to see me develop into the “chef” that I am today. I would probably cook for her the dish that I am offering up for this recipe because I have a feeling she would like it a lot. We would also have on the menu her chicken and dumpling soup. She would make it a lot when I was a child and I would be willing to forego my vegan diet to be able to share this meal with her. Oh how I wish.
6) Current music on your food soundtrack:
The current music on my food soundtrack varies. I am an avid hype machine (hypem.com) listener and when I cook I just let the music play. I’m flexible and love anything that gets me in the mood!
check us out later this week for PART 2 of
Kortney's profile where we are gonna peep
a delectable vegan shepherd's pie recipe.