While part-timing as a busboy decades ago, I wanted to create a photographic series of the workers’ meal provided by the eatery by cooking up all unused ingredients for the day to prevent “waste” — this could entail things like the hard core of a head of cabbage, the lower quality ends of a rack of ribs, stem roots, remnants of a broth, etc.  

 

On occasions, this was also an opportunity for the newly trained cooks to try out their acquired skills and invent dishes. I’m not aware of any accurate Western translation of this practice which in Japanese is  “makanai” (also known as staff meal or a family meal in reference to the establishment). In essence, a socializing part of the workday, a crit group, an experimental cooking hour and working behind the scenes.  Through this series of documentation, I will be exploring the interaction of food, environment and the people who create it behind the scenes. 

 

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