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Episode Three: “Food and Family”

Food is a tie that binds us to our families in powerful and pervasive ways. From our first sip of mother’s milk to a post-funeral potluck buffet, our lives are bracketed by and defined by food. Shopping for food, preparing it, eating it — through these small, daily rituals, bonds are forged and memories are created.

In “Food and Family,” we meet several families whose relationship with food is central. We visit a 24-hour diner in Chicago where people come together in a sometimes decades-long ritual of communing and consuming. Through Hsiao-Ching Chou, the award-winning food writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, we explore the complex tangle of love and duty experienced by many of the families that run the more than 25,000 Chinese restaurants nationwide. Hsiao-Ching takes us back home to the family restaurant in Missouri and shares bittersweet memories of seven-day work weeks — as well as her family’s prized recipe for dumplings.

We learn about the elaborate art of “obento” — the creation of exquisite, jewel-like lunch box treats that some Japanese-American mothers still practice; visit with the Cruz family of San Benito, Texas as they celebrate the Christmas holidays with a tamale-making marathon called a “tamalada;” and go to St. Paul, Minnesota for a peek into the local male-bonding ritual called a “booya,” the creation of a huge stew that’s made from a recipe passed from father to son, takes all night, and requires lots of beer in both the pot and the chefs.

Our episode ends with the funeral of Vaai Fano, a Samoan woman who is honored by her huge extended family with a traditional week-long gathering done 'fa’a Samoa’ — in the Samoan way — that includes the feeding of hundreds of friends and relations.

 

Credits:

 

Executive Producer/Series Creator
Sue McLaughlin

Series Producer/Director
Maria Gargiulo

Senior Producers/Series Directors
Vivian Kleiman
Karin Williams

Co-Producer/Production Manager
Steve Kodish

Producers
Kimberlee Bassford
Shannon Gee
John Mikulenka

Senior Story Consultant
Susan Kim

Associate Producers
Marina Jade Gordon
Mimi Wong
Laurie Bohm Rosalyn Brandon
Sarina Pearson
Katja Shaye
Jeff Teitelbaum

Graphic Designer
Lisa Moore

Original Music
Stephen Thomas Cavit

Additional Segment Directors
Kimberlee Bassford
Shannon Gee
John Mikulenka

Director of Photography
Diana Wilmar

Camera
Theo Angell
Lulu Gargiulo

Additional Camera
Shannon Gee
Boyd Estus
Joesph Hudson
Don Lenzer
Mike Meinhardt
John Pai
Mimi Wong

Audio
Eric Soma
Bob Marts
David Hocs
Ari Lioris
Brenda Ray

Senior Editor
Robert J. DeMaio

Editors
Michael Cross
Jill Friedberg
Kris Kristensen

Post Production Supervisor
Shannon Gee

Additional Editing
Jeanne Slater
Drew Keller
Maria Gargiulo
Shannon Gee

Assistant Editors
Lila Kitaeff
Jeffery Sloane

Development Director
Fidelma McGinn

Development Writer
Greg Palmer

Fiscal Sponsor
Northwest Film Forum

Production Assistants
Heather Ayres
Massimo Backus
Michael Bassford
Lisa Gewerth
Carol Hermer
Kamertap Hurmali
Bruce Moores
Lindsay Rogers
Lena Scott
Jacqueline Toma
Andrew Toms
Alison Perkins

Creative Consultant
David Wild

Post Production Facility
Flying Spot Seattle

Audio Post
Bad Animals/Seattle

Project Advisors
Gene Anderson
Ira Bashkow
Amy Bentley
Carole M. Counihan
Hsiao-Ching Chou
Cara De Silva
Randall Francisco
Jessica B. Harris
Nancy Jenkins
Miriam Kahn
Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa
Rachel Laudan
Sid Mintz
Ruth Reichl
Cristina Salas-Porras
Alice Waters

Archival Sources Chou Family
Cross Films Productions
Cruz Family
FootageBank
Getty Images
Leitner Family
Lucio Family
Minnesota Historical Society
Marcus Samuelsson
Lima Sa’o

Special Thanks
The Alex Hotel, New York – Home of Riingo Restaurant
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle
Palisade Restaurant, Seattle: Chef Mike Bryan
Yayoi Brown
Tom Furtwangler
Ofer Gneezy & Christine McLaughlin
Cheryl Head
Billie & John McLaughlin
Pam McClusky & Kakuta Hamisi
Annie Moriyasu
Sheila Mullen
O’Gara’s Bar & Restaurant, St. Paul
Matt Wesson
Tamara Wilson

 

FOR OREGON PUBLIC BROADCASTING

BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Susan Smith

LEGAL SERVICES
Kristin Ingram

NATIONAL PROMOTION
Selena Lauterer
Nimmi Singh

WEB/INTERACTIVE
John Kin
Marion Rice, Ed.D.

POST PRODUCTION
Howard Beckerman

PRODUCTION SERVICES
Milt Ritter

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
Cheri Arbini

SR. DIRECTOR NATIONAL PRODUCTION
John Booth

POST PRODUCTION
Howard Beckerman

PRODUCTION SERVICES
Milt Ritter

EXECUTIVES IN CHARGE OF PRODUCTION
David Davis
Jack Galmiche