The link between your favourite meal and communication?


Published: 11 Sep 2022

other stuff

Not many people know this about me, but in an earlier life I was a chef and then a lecturer/trainer of chefs and a restaurant owner.

Over the years that have passed since, I always felt that there was never a link between my old life and the new one in education and communication. That they weren’t connected.

It was only recently when over lunch I randomly said to someone, “what is your favourite meal” that it occurred to me they are connected – just not in a way that I would previously have noted.

I’ve asked lots of people that question since, because it began to fascinate me. Sometimes people mis-hear the question and tell me their favourite food – such as avocado. Sometimes they do indeed tell me their favourite food – such as; veggie lasagne, steak and pepper sauce. Some people tell me their favourite breakfast, lunch, or dinner….or all three!

Most people’s faces change – as they are thinking about it, they smile. Then they tell me WHY they like that meal.

I like veggie lasagne, because my mum would make it on her day off on Fridays. I remember it took her ages to make. I loved the sheer love that went into it because it was so time consuming to make from scratch. I loved how it brought us all together and my brother and sister home on a Friday night from different parts of the city.”

“I remember going to a certain restaurant in England with my grandfather whenever there was a special occasion in the family. And he would always order steak with pepper sauce.”

In my own family growing up, we weren’t affluent, but I never felt poor. My favourite meal was toast. The smell of toast was always there. My grandma and grandad would come around on Saturday afternoons and we would have thick buttered toast by the fire. We watched wrestling first, and my grandma would often throw her handbag at the tele if things didn’t go how she wanted them to. Then we’d watch Dr Who together. I was always looking for the most toasted bit and I would let mine go cold before buttering it whilst everyone else wanted the warm, lightly toasted bits.

As I had my toast this morning – cold and semi-burnt of course, the butter is gone and an olive oil nut spread replaces it, the bread is more seeds than bread – but the memories remain. It links me to my roots and my ancestors. I am the sum parts of the shared DNA.

I have my grandma’s creativity. Despite being in a wheelchair and hindered by arthritis in her hands she was a gifted artist, and a poet.

The reason my favourite meal for lunch is often a humble, yet perfect cheese and tomato sandwich or salad is because I am my grandad’s grand-daughter. He grew tomatoes, and the smell of ripe vine tomatoes always takes me back to him and the memory of walking the vines and watering the plants with him.

What is your favourite meal? And how does any of this link to communication? Good Question!

We forget how much of our past predicts and influences our future. Almost every day someone hits me with a belief they have around communication. And I say “who taught you that?” You can change that if you like, you know.

We don’t have to live with the messaging we received as children.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.” It grows from trees though – and what if it’s easy to make?

“The only way to succeed is to work hard.” Really! Is it?

“Don’t rock the boat and speak up.” Then how will you ever be the real you and make a difference in the world?

We forget why we’re here in this lifetime some days. To experience as much as we can. To learn as much as we can and grow.

We were never meant to merely exist (we have free will and a brain that is limitless in what it can imagine).

Never meant to be lonely (that’s why there are so many of us).

We were meant to have joy. Feel loved, and feel love. Feel connected. Feel safe .

What is more important today? What are you looking for? Craving? Missing?

Ponder that as you eat your favourite meal.

I was very close a few years ago to finding my perfect partner. How did I know? The first morning after we spent the night together, I woke to the smell of toast. He had also remembered (and had the patience) to semi-burn it (takes skill) and to let it go completely cold before buttering it (takes oodles of self-control). Cosmic timing was against us, but the fact that he’d remembered a funny conversation that we once had about favourite foods, and surprised me with it meant the world to me that morning.

See the link yet?

Great communication creates memories. Memories of how people treated you, what they said (or didn’t say), how they made you feel. It takes patience and skill. It takes oodles of self-control to look for the win-win or to ditch your ego and benefit someone else, listen to someone else. It is all about timing. Not leaving it un-said, or too late. Some days communication (and people) surprise you, they give you hope, it means the world to you in that moment.