Chicken soup for the soul. This might be a well known saying, as well as the name of an acclaimed book series, but most people probably wouldn’t literally describe a warm chicken-flavored broth as “soulful.” Graci Kim, a firm believer that food is absolutely essential subsistence for not just the body, but also the mind and the soul, is an exception.
Born in Korea but raised in New Zealand, Graci is a living example of the word “international,” having studied, worked, and travelled abroad in America, Spain and a host of other countries as a diplomat for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. When not representing New Zealand's interests, Graci takes to the kitchen to indulge in her true passion: cooking. A self-proclaimed lover of food who was “put on this Earth for the purpose of finding, making, and eating really yummy things,” Graci has recently harnessed her hobby into the form of an online cooking show, Graci in the Kitchen. But while online cooking bits are a dime a dozen, Graci’s offers a fresh, “mood-based” twist.
Why the deeper-than-usual approach to cooking? Graci states that her epiphany came when she realized that food’s effects go beyond merely filling our bellies, and that different kinds of food can influence our emotions, cheering us when we’re depressed or calming us when we’re nervous. Taking this train of thought and running with it, Graci in the Kitchen is not solely focused on the creation of recipes, like most other cooking shows. Instead, every episode is geared around a certain mood, such as “in love” or “feeling responsible.” In under fifteen minutes, Graci explains to her audience a mood-based recipe, and then offers commentary on how the ingredients used can mold our feelings. In the “in love” episode, for example, Graci points out that the fatty acids in fish can help us maintain a regular heartbeat, which is always a plus when “you’re in love and your heart is doing crazy buggers.” Finally, every episode comes complete with a collection of inspiring quotes, (since consuming quotes is food for the mind) as well as a live musical segment, because in Graci’s words, music is the quintessential “food for the soul.”
Filmed in Taipei, Taiwan, Graci’s current home, Graci in the Kitchen is currently being produced by Alexander Flenniken and Drew Toop of Cracked Aperture Video Productions, a new independent Taiwan filmmaking company. The show comes out every Wednesday, with full episodes being released every third week, and shorter “bite” sized bits coming out every week in between. With two full episodes and a handful of bites currently out, Graci in the Kitchen has already won over hundreds of viewers and dedicated followers on Facebook and is only growing larger each and every day. To Graci, however, the main point of the show isn’t to attract armies of fans. Instead, it’s to share with the world a passion--that of creating, consuming, and cultivating a love and appreciation for food. With these goals in mind, one can only hope that she’ll film a “soulful” episode sometime soon.
Maybe with chicken soup as the main course.
For full episodes and updates, check out Graci in the Kitchen.com or the Graci in the Kitchen Facebook site.
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