theCenterpiece

Carrie Mae WeemsInspired by photographer Carrie Mae Weems's The Kitchen Table Series, the book A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove by Laura Schenone, and by our own personal histories, we three decided to explore what we might have in common as women from different backgrounds and cultures.

Eileen Chen
Born in Taiwan, lived in Guam, immigrated to the United States.
Dinah de Spenza
From an Italian-French-Creole heritage, born in New Orleans.
Stephanie Foti
Italian-American, born in California.

Schenone says of women and cooking, it is “… a major force in the rhythm of our lives, keeping us alive, and bringing us together around the table with those we like, those we love, and those we need… For all it's associations with oppression and drudgery, some of the most 'feminist' women I know love to cook and boast that they are proud owners of their grandmothers' cookbooks. Through food, we search for the elusive past.”

Searching for our commonalities we also rediscovered our pasts. We found that each of our cultures shares a transformation from the old world to the new world – as well as a history of pasta. A childhood spent in the kitchen learning family histories and secrets form our mothers, grandmothers and a circle of women. And, that there, we are joined by a universal circle of women that extends beyond our own personal families, and is open, and never broken. These women are the centerpiece of all our cultures.