It's February; a month dedicated to love. While it’s easy to focus on romantic love and the ensuing highs, lows and feelings of loss and insecurity that can come with it, we are choosing to instead highlight stories of pure delight.
Love as the purest emotion felt with every fibre of your being. Love as an unconditional warm embrace that is with you for life. No vows are needed to bind these love stories, told via love letters by those who hold them dear in their heart.
This week: food and beverage creative Sam Low, whose intricate replating of his managed isolation meals went viral last year, reflects on his love of food.
To my longest love,
I am writing this letter to you to let you know the important role you’ve played in my life.You were always there for me in your most authentic form.
You give me strength, connection, love and confirmation.
The strength you give is often literal, nourishing and full. You provide me the strength to improve and to push boundaries, whether it's testing new recipes or cooking for a large room filled with paying patrons. You inspire me to do and be more.
The connections you naturally have with my roots allows me to reconnect with my cultural heritage and celebrate my unique identity. Teaching me constantly, to be aware of the ingredients in my meals and that the simplest parts of a meal can often carry the most complexities. Being able to advocate for Chinese gastronomy as a Chinese Kiwi makes me proud. You make me proud.
With you, the phrase ‘I love you’ is often synonymous with a bowl of rice filled to the brim.
Coming out as gay to my traditional parents was an extremely difficult decision and moment in my life, yet a necessary one for me to take. And of all the things from that event I remember, the one that stays with me the most is – you.
You being there, in the form of a rice bowl filled with my childhood favourite, the humble savoury rice porridge, congee made from my Mum and Dad, for me.
I look forward to spending many more moments like these in the future together and with others around me. I am grateful for you being in my life.
Love, Sam Low
Main photo: Sam's chicken and ginger congee with egg yolk, century egg, pickled shallot and chilli oil, and youtiao (Chinese fried bread) on the side.