"I have one of your cards from an event that you did showing your art, and it says that you are a Storyteller, so I would interested in chatting more."
This was part of a voicemail left on my business phone early November 2023. It took a lot of phone tag but I eventually discovered that the person who left this call was Victoria of Anythink Libraries. During a phone call outside the Michaels in Arvada, I finally get a hold of hold of her. She is doing a story telling series and thinks I might do spoken word or something like that. I explain to her that these days my story telling is more about marketing and writing articles about food than presentations worthy of TEDx stage. I ask however if any other the other storytellers she's hiring are in the food industry. This is how I'm introduced to Andrea of Four Directions Cuisine.
A graduate of Culinary Institute of America, native Venezuelan, and advocate for indigenous rights, Chef Andrea knows her American food. I'm not talking burgers, hot dogs and fries. I'm talking quinoa, amaranth, cocoa, and pumpkin: the OG American food. As someone who does a fair amount of food research herself, I can tell very quickly over a 3-way Zoom call that Andrea really knows her stuff. Contrary to mainstream academic opinion, my food research has led me to believe that the Native American of pre-Colombia North and South America were indeed quite technologically advanced. It's just that instead of investing electro-mechanical technology, the Frist Nations of American were agriculturally advanced. Later conversation with Andrea reveal that 70% of exported food comes out American and are based off the foods that the indigenous Americans cultivated over thousands of years. This fact took even me by surpised as I had assumed that Asai was the world great food exportors, evidenced by the Chinese, Indian, and Middle eastern influences in my own spice cabinet.