Madagascar, Indian Ocean, Africa discussed on The Dave Chang Show
We are joined with. Chris King and. I mean. Multi? Hyphen it. Is the best way to describe our guest how Hassan Are you still a model or you now is it called former model. I think now people would say I'm a former model because like. Is there a term because celebrity chef is a terrible term? So what do you mean like? What like what a model? What do you call yourself? You introduce yourself like, oh, I was a model or No never right. I just saw. Books. And that will. That's actually what I always do. Say I go I. You know people get really confused about what consumer packaged goods are, and so they're like what is the hat and I'm like hot sauce And then they get excited. Well you are. Also, you make a hot sauce and we want to talk about that and you are now a bona fide author. Right my first cookbook in BBC's kitchen is coming out shortly what's the date and comes out October thirteenth and you can pre-order it were any book is sold I'm sure absolutely. About the book you wrote. So indies kitchen is a book about recipes from the perspective of grandmothers, exploration of recipes stories, and it's based on eight African countries that touch the Indian Ocean. So the intent is to really bring the new home cook into what food from the continent looks like So it's a lot of just talking about capitalisation talking about recipes talking about the spice trade and we're doing it all from the perspectives of Nature Archies, which for me, our grandmother Geographic. I. Love that Geographic Organization of the eight countries that touch the Indian Ocean is that like does that feel like the unifying culinary thread to is that is that what connects those places? Right. So when you think about the Indian, ocean in the way that folks were able to enter the continent it always started at the tip which Eritrea than it carried all the way down to Madagascar and so ultimately what I was interested in doing outside of preserving these stories in these recipes was to really spell it out for the American reader for people in the West to say that Africa's not Monolithic I, know that you've heard about this thing is that far away place. But if you're familiar with the spice trading, you know about the Indian, ocean hear these countries that hug it, and here's the recipes of those countries. How can I ask how was the process of pitching this book and how long did it take you to be? Able to convince publish. It'd be like you need to make this book while a couple of years ago nothing like this was being done and so a lot of the feedback we got was. This is just too big of a project. Oh Africa's hard to sell, and so the way that even the proposal coach can we unpacked statement sorry to interrupt. I think that's A. We shouldn't move past this statement for any listener. Just. Remember what you just said Africa is hard to sell. Now if a publisher told me, Asian food is hard to sell I literally my not that I would buy initial thought would be I'm GONNA. Burn this fucking person's house down right? That's my anger would be so great or some imagine someone told you oh your. Cuisine your culture wherever you're from someone. Told You oh, you want to write about that or that's GONNA be too hard to sell. Of course, you would get upset right I mean like I don't know if that should be commonplace gloss over weight. Why? Why do you think in their perspective? It's hard to sell quote unquote. because. The people who are making the decisions are not reflective of the things that are that I'm trying to sell right so. What's what's up? On not reflective equals one. So I'm not people who look like me are not in these rooms and they're not the ones deciding right so they're leading with their ignorance. They're not even thinking about their audience they're not even they dumbed down their audience so much and they're leaving with their ignorance. So for them. Africa. Dust feel far away. They never I'm sure they've never outside of a cartoon movie heard of Madagascar. Right? They don't know. What the culture there is they don't know what the recipe is the ultimate in their mind they feel if I can't relate to this book, our reader won't be able to relate to it, and so again, that goes back to what I always talk about that the audience is not giving enough credit because the people who are leading the way ultimately are dumbing it down by choosing silly things for them to consume. That's really interesting. I think that what she said right there is. is, everything, right the the the publishers at the powers that be let's not just this is not restricted to book publishing a Cookbook publishing it all but it's assumed that the audience wouldn't care wouldn't WanNa know it doesn't sell it doesn't sell because nobody's ever tried to sell it before right? The audience maybe they WANNA see maybe they do wanna know and audiences need to be given like you said, they just need to be given more credit in a little bit. I'll tell you how it would sell. I'll tell you exactly how we all imagine of away that it would become a hot commodity. You. Somebody going to Madagascar that isn't of your culture or from Madagascar and of the countries, lining the Indian Ocean, and focusing on one or two things, and then writing a book about it but not really spend the time to understand it further and then putting a new name on it like sex dust. Manila magic. Like. Okay. Jaya's new Africa. And then it just goes bananas and then that's how it happens and I'll be honest. Maybe that's the only way for these narratives to actually gain mainstream attention I thought about this subject a lot. and. I really have come to this point where I'm sure I. don't even know if I will always agree with where I'm at right now. But I'm currently at a place where I feel like if you WANNA gain acceptance, it unfortunately has to go through that lowest common denominator. I. Word Hacks to be extracted. It has to be fucked up and has to also. Be appropriated because if you are of that culture, you're never going to want to promote it in that way. So forward to gain mainstream acceptance, it cannot be spoken about or educated initially from the person's or that cultures owned perspective it has to be done from somewhere else and I feel that there's enough data historically speaking to prove that that is actually true. Yeah I mean I. Think they one of the things that most Americans really understand very well, probably better than the rest of the world is capitalism right and so I know that one of the ways that African food in African products in books and stories will come to be his win white man start to develop condiments from the continent you know which is what I've been doing but. Ultimately, I think in thankfully for the moment that we're in a lot of ways I think what's really happening is is that folks are taking a step back and they're so scared to be called out that they're checking themselves like two years ago someone took me aside a trade show and set alumnae introduce you to the King of African condiments. He was a white boy from Brown and. That is not acceptable anymore at least from my perspective, right? Brown he's smart. He's probably very liberal. That's something. Introduce himself as the King of African know what they did. Notice that I already knew him and he had been asking me for advice on this new line of Communist that they were bringing about. He asked me how to have him out of bed come on. White Boys from Brown Selling Afrikaans art there. We might as well just name him now.