I used to tell people I didn’t know how to cook as a joke to see their reaction – it was quite amusing. There’s a common notion that women and especially young black women should all know how to cook and if they don’t then they’re deemed undomesticated. I know my own mother was frustrated at times that I didn’t hang around in the kitchen long enough to watch her cook ands since her passing I often regret not doing so (I’m working on a project around this). My pops will vouch that the kitchen and I are well acquainted but could probably work on that relationship, lol.
I think my views on what seems to be the status quo are different as the majority of the men in my family can cook – the night before Jouvert in Grenada you’ll find my uncles throwing down in the kitchen mixing up a tasty pot of oil down, kneeding dough to make dumplings hard enough to aid in the teething process for babies.
Filmmaker Ethosheia Hylton’s short film ‘Ackee & Saltfish’ touched a chord that I think is familiar in the lives of a lot of young women of my generation. As well as being a filmmaker, Hylton is an actress and writer. who studied acting in New York and after moving back to London began writing films as well as persuing an acting career.
25 year old Bianca Has everything, a good job, nice flat, nice car, good looking man, even a cleaner. Her only flaw is Bianca can’t cook and won’t cook. She believes she doesn’t have to and lives on a diet of take aways 7 days a week! Her boyfriend, Chris, has had enough and in a final attempt to get Bianca to change her ways, buys all the ingredients to make his favourite Jamaican dish Ackee and saltfish. Bianca tries and fails. Terribly! In a race to win her man back Bianca learns that not only is there some truth in food being the way to a man’s heart but as a woman, important for herself.
Check out the 2 part series below and let us know what you think of the video and the subject matter – we’d love to hear your thoughts!