February 4th, 2009



Yesterday, I was a guest at an evening activity with one of our vendors. We were divided into 2 teams by our hosts: two delightful chefs who are making names for themselves in the Öresund region. David Fernandes, who owns the S:t Gertrud Patisserie and Tareq Taylor, who made a name as the owner and master chef of acclaimed Malmö restaurant trappaner.

The activity was cooking our own dinner, under the leadership of our two chefs, and then sitting down to enjoy it. It was great fun, and the food was fantastic. One team (mine) was in charge of the starter: Potato & Jerusalem Artichoke Soup and the main dish: Seared Halibut Filets w/Cauliflower Purée. The other team was down in the Patisserie making a series of individual-serving size desserts: Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta, Crème Brulee, Crème Caramel, Crema Catalana, and black-current-dusted chocolate truffles.

There was even a cheese course that featured quince marmalade: a new one for me! I don't think I've ever eaten quince in any form; it was quite tasty. Did you know that the golden apples that Paris gave to Aphrodite were actually quinces? There is also a theory that quince could have been the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve munched on.

Look at that, sidetracked onto the food tangent. As usual.

The whole point of my writing about yesterday evening to begin with was because of my fascination with the fact that both of the chefs were essentially third-culture kids. A Third Culture Kid, or TCK, is "someone who has spent a significant portion of their childhood in one or more cultures other than their own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture into a third & personal culture of their own." Some TCKs have parents who come from more than one culture, and who live in a third.

David is Portuguese, but grew up in Luxembourg and is now married to a Swedish woman and living in Sweden for the past 5 years. Tareq's father is from Jerusalem and his mom is half English and half Swedish. 3 of us at the event were Americans living in Sweden, all of whom have spent years in other parts of the world as well. Another participant was a Frenchwoman whose father came from Croatia, and who grew up partly in Australia. I'm a TCK, having been a military brat who spent six years of my under-18 years overseas.

I know so many people who qualify as TCKs and think it's a intriguing subject. How small the world grows sometimes! Just to satisfy my curiosity, drop me a comment and answer this informal poll for me, will you? My answer are first :)

1. Are your parents from the same culture? If not, where are they from?
2. Were you born in the country your parents (or a parent) came from? If not, where?
3. Did you spend time as a child (under 18) living in a different culture than your birth culture? How long? Where?
4. Did you go to school abroad or outside or your state/country?
5. Have you lived abroad as an adult (over 18)? If you lived abroad as a child, have you ever lived in the country of your birth?
6. How many times have you moved to a new residence?
7. Do you hold dual citizenship? If not, are you eligible to?
8. How many languages do you speak?
9. Do you consider yourself as belonging to a particular culture?
10. Is your spouse/significant other from the same culture as you?