When people present themselves to be fed, they are also looking for lots of other things. For me, food is a decoy - a lovely way of distracting people into sitting down together, or at least alongside each other so that their stories can merge momentarily.     

i don’t mean the life stories that we have all told a million times    

I picture instead the invisible pollen of ourselves that contain our memories, our dreams, our yearnings, our breakages. I imagine that we leave fragments behind us, especially in places where we have shared something, like a meal. I think too that the more of these fragments that accumulate in a place, floating and swirling and intermingling, the more genuine the place feels. There is a shared human familiarity that we can sense and it is a good feeling. Actually, a big reason for my opening a canteen was to collect these fragments and let people sit among them, with food as an excuse. 

~Having said that~

This food must be thoughtful and excellent; made with honesty and kindness, using good ingredients, working with the seasons, showing respect to the farms, animals and planet. The offering must attempt to gauge the diverse range of possible human circumstances that might be presented.

It must :


We have to presume that everyone sitting down in our dining room wants to have a small feast and that everything is an occasion. Sometimes we fail spectacularly and feel bad then try even harder, looking to the basic law of hospitality as Jacques Derrida puts it in no uncertain terms: 'Let us say yes to who or what turns up' and let us use this food as a vehicle for joy.

︎ to Food