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The Something About Food? Blog

This is the Something About Food? Blog, where Chef Chris Clarke discusses new podcast episodes, travel, restaurants, and more!

A blog about food, family, and travel by the mostly-vegan Chef Chris Clarke.   

Sum It Up Sunday - Food and Culture, Not Romance, Connected Me To "Always Be My Maybe"

It was the food and culture, not romance, that connected me to "Always Be My Maybe".

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy the romantic “When Harry Met Sally” vibe of the rom-com, because I did. But it was the Asian Culture and food that really resonated with me.

There isn’t a single DNA strand in my body, or anyone in my family, that can trace it’s roots back to Asia. My brothers, sisters and I are a mash up of 1/2 Irish, 3/8ths Italian and 1/8th Jewish folk. We grew up with not a lot of money, where family met around the table every single night, and extended family filled the house for every holiday, graduation and the like.

Sasha’s parents hate to do anything where they will have to tip, as they are frugal.

We didn’t eat out at Italian restaurants as not only were they more money than my mother was willing to pay, but also because she and my Gram Ruocco could make it better at home. If one of our many cousins (of which there are 40 first cousins), was getting married we would camp, unless circustances forced us to stay in a hotel. All 8 of us, if my dad was around, would be crammed into one room. We used to joke about “How many Clarke’s does it take to fill a hotel room?” The answer is 8 apparently.

When Marcus approaches his father for money at the dinner table, as he knows that without his neighbor and pal there he would have been shut down, I laughed because I wish I had thought of that. From the age of 11 any extra money I wanted I earned with a paper route, house cleaning, etc. I thought my mother was cheap, I didn’t realize we were poor.

The family running through the house for the birthday of Sasha’s parents god-daughther? That was my family, though we were much louder and obnoxious.

The frugalness, the community around the table, the arguments over “authentic” food that are themes behind the romance in “Always Be My Maybe” are what made me tear up time and again when watching it. It was familiar. It was my family too.

And of course, it doesn’t hurt that I had some great fantasies of me being in Ali Wong’s place when it came to making out with and fondling Keanu Reeves, Randall Park and Daniel Dae Kim, I mean I’m only human!