About the project

little chef by leah valleLacoste, France

Like the great celebration of Easter after days of Lenten Abstinence from meat and poultry, food from across cultures, is used in so many ways — as an inspiration, as a way to reveal characters and even as an aid to seduction.

The smells of food are like souls that represent religious symbolism, rituals, celebrations.  Without us noticing, food dictates our roles in the family and the rules of the community.  The type of food we eat measures our equality of life.

IMG_8424-1024x682Cebu City, Philippines

But how is a cuisine is born?
From varieties of fruits and vegetables and from the efforts of farmers and fisherman, this photo documentary has two objectives.  First, to raise an interest on the lives of the people who cook them, the relationships they maintain,and the culture they transmit.  And second, to make the viewer explore the profound roles that food plays in our lives.

The bond we share with others is strongly sustained when we share food because, most importantly, food is about caring and we work all our lives not to be hungry.


Final Output of Project: Photo Book, 100-150 pages. with stories and narratives;
printed double sided, with approximately 80 colored and b/w photographs.

Cover Dimension of 8.75” x 11.25”, Book Orientation: Landscape,
Paper Dimension: TBD, Paper Type: 115# archival, acid free


S A M P  L E   I M A G E S


T’nalak Festival with rice sewed on traditional dresses


“The Philippines is one big archipelago of fiestas and festivals. Each province, city, municipality, town, barangay has festivals to commemorate an event, a patron saint, culture, product or in the case of

South Cotabato, its woven cloth, the T’Nalak.
T’Nalak symbolizes the culture, tradition and art of the people of South Cotabato. Each fiber of the abaca represents its diversity and yet when woven, becomes a beautiful tapestry. The T’Nalak Festival showcases South Cotabato’s bounty and culture and commemorates its Founding Anniversary.  The Festival Queens representing each town were dressed in T’Nalak splendor also danced on the streets.”
(T’nalak Festival Text by Ida Nanette Damo)

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Coffee when it’s near midnight? Why not.  During Ramadan, the streets in Morocco come to life at night. Families are leisurely walking on the streets and friends are hanging out in cafes. The “day” has just begun. 

hong kong death bun

I was at this little Chinese cake store in Sham Shui Po. Eyed their stuff and was drawn to this pink bun. I pointed at it and asked how much.  The Chinese lady, in her very limited English, inquired of what I want the bun for.

“for eat?” she quizzed. I affirmed by nodding my head, confused.
“NO”, she said, “this is for Buddha”.  I pointed at it again and she, again, denied me a sale.
Apparently they sell specific buns and cakes for Buddha offering not meant for consumption. I think I looked pitiful looking at it that she stretched her hand and offered, “ok ok, picture only”. It’s been two days now…and I am still wondering how that bun would taste.


No plastic cups in Sefrou. Local tea shops serve their drinks in glasses you can take with you provided you bring them back after you’re finished.


In Morocco, bees are allowed to taste test your tea…and bread…and everything else on the table

Typical lunch scene at Central Districtevery Sunday.  Filipina Migrant women creat “restaurants” using cardboards and secretly sells food as hawking is not aloud in Hong Kong.

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Ever wonder about the farmers who plant the rice you eat on your table?


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