I have always had a fond appreciation for gastronomy. My appreciation is a blessing from my own rich culture–Haiti. Growing up in a Haitian household. Food was part of the expression of showing love and appreciation to friends and family.
Realistically speaking I think every culture has the same appreciation, simply some show it more than others.
So when it came time to produce this interview with Chef Mellanee Harvin, founder of the famous Brooklyn based catering company The Fork Goes On The Left, during the current situation in which the whole world finds themselves faced with during the COVID-19 crisis, I jumped at it. I wanted very much to put something together that would bring everyone pleasure, while not minimizing the seriousness of the situation.
Granted we are all facing the most challenging situation of our lives collectively being quarantined, but there are still somethings that we can still find joy in, and eating is one of them. Yes, it not only something we must all do, but it is life-saving.
I will admit cooking is something that I enjoy doing on occasion. I would prefer ordering out or making reservations at one of New York’s finest restaurants, and great eateries, there is not a shortage of one. You can’t walk down one New York block and not find countless of options to satisfy your hunger or cravings. That is the beauty, and privilege of living in this great city.
So for all New Yorkers, whether you are a customer or a proprietor this is devasting times.
But as the whole world knows, New Yorkers are resilient people. Not only will they come out of this, but many will come out of it stronger, and I pray more prepared for the future.
While Governor Cuomo, is very adamant about the stay at home order, only asking that we go out for the necessities, food shopping, and medical shopping. We chose to go food shopping for the purpose of this article. On one of the few shopping runs I had to make for our family, I decided this would be the best time for me to produce this segment and use my time wisely. I wanted to not only cook a mean or meals for my family. I utilized this to take a private cooking lesson with one of the greats.
Dressed for the occasion as recommended by the CDC (mask and gloves), shopping list in hand. I was unstoppable. I was on a mission to gather everything that I would need that would enable me to have several meals for my family and myself for the next two weeks.
Mellanee Renee Harvin is a veteran chef of over 20 years with recommendations that would make any restaurant owner feel threatened.
So the opportunity to spend my Sunday afternoon cooking with a chef of her caliber is an honor. The purpose of sharing this experience with you all is to show you while we are forced to stay out home for our safety, it is not a sentence of doom. Our time can be used to our benefit like perfecting our cooking skills, and for showing love to our family with the meaningful moments we will be able to share that will make this historical moment more memorable.
But don’t think we are not aware of those who don’t have the privilege, or luxury of a home, let alone a kitchen. Thus making these moments even more precious for us. Working with Music Kitchen during this crisis, is increasingly reminding us how fortunate so many of us are.
But these moments can be shared as a couple or as a family. Everyone can share in the responsibilities and joys of making a meal. A life skill that will be useful well after this is over.
So as we are tucked safely away in our homes with our loved ones, let us be conscious of the precious moments we can create together simply by cooking a meal together as a family.
The History of The Chef
We had an opportunity to ask Mellanee a few questions so you all can get to know her better.
How Long Have you been a Chef?
I’ve been a Chef for over 20 years.