Eat Eat Eat

I started thinking about this thesis project by exploring the broad topic of Food. Through investigating the broad reaches I hoped it would lead me to unexpected results during this 14 week thesis process. I knew couldn’t indulge in everything but I tried to be diverse with my curiosities.

After reading Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma and watching Robert Kenner’s Food Inc.(and many other materials listed below) I felt really passionate to use this thesis time to share the sentiments of their work. I wanted to re-tell those stories of our modern food productions. I’ve also been playing with the idiom “You Are What You Eat” and reinterpret the phrase outside of nutrition but as a pun to mean literally turning the diners into the things they are eating, in this case, into chickens. This was just a fun starting point but the humor of this interpretation guided this thesis project all the way though.


The Harvard Science and Food series was also very inspiring for me. This one episode with Chef Grant Achatz of Alinea showed how his restaurant used props and serving objects as story telling devices. I’ve worked on a series of food projects before where I made tools to cook sculptural foods with. So the idea of making props to serve food out of was very intriguing to me.

But most importantly I have my professor Eric Rosenthal to thank for giving me the best advice during my thesis process. I started brain-storming thesis ideas during the winter break. After proposing the many scattered directions he sat me down and said: ‘This is too much. You’ve to ask yourself, at the end of the 14-week what is the story you want to tell?” This changed my approach from trying to make something work to really investigate how to tell a story.

List of materials I’ve come across:
Book – Michael Pollen: Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Harper’s Magazine – Ted Conover: The Way of All Flesh.
New York Times Magazine – Michael Moss: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.
Vimeo – Ron Fricke: Short clip from Samsara.
Movie – Robert Kenner: Food Inc.
Movie – James Colquhoun, Carlo Ledesma: Food Matters.
Movie – Lee Fulkerson: Fork Over Knife.
TED – Jamie Oliver: Teach Every Children About Food.
TED – Mark Bittman: What’s wrong with what we eat.
TED – Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish.
TED – Dan Barber: Dan Barber’s foie gras parable.

Web-episode – Harvard Science and Food: Reinventing Food Texture & Flavor | Lecture 6 (2010)
Web-episode – Harvard Science and Food: Meat Glue Mania | Lecture 10 (2010)
Book – Nathan Myhrvold: Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking
TED – Nathan Myhrvold: Cooking as never seen before.

Field trips:
American Museum of Natural History’s Our Global Kitchen exhibition.

Various home good stores like Crate&Barrel and Ikea.

Restaurant supplies store: JP Prince, Bowery Kitchen and Broadway Panhandler.

A day in the kitchen of Ai Fiori. –more photos

A live poultry shop in Red Hook. –more photos

This is part of the ‘Eat Like What You Eat’ thesis project. Back to the main page.

All content © 2021 by Tak Cheung