For her thesis project, Sanika Phawde created a beautifully illustrated graphic novel titled Taste Your Words Before You Spit Them Out. The book focuses on how certain cultures, specifically those with a history in migration and colonial traumas, used food as a communicative tool.
Phawde worked with her favorite culinary artists and creators, such as Victoria Granof and Andrew Ilniki, to create a wonderfully illustrated book that visually describes these relationships to food. To begin every interview, she started with the question, "What is the first meal you cooked just for yourself and nobody else. And what was happening in your life at the time?"
Each interview and conversation has an entirely different spread style, from layout, illustration style, to color themes to overall aesthetics. This difference in style proves that Phawde truly got to know the inner workings of each person she interviewed and showcased their differences, and also similarities, superbly.
My thesis project is a graphic novel titled, Taste Your Words Before You Spit Them Out. I am very interested in how and in cultures with a history of migration and colonial trauma, food is used as a tool of communication, and how sharing a meal or food resources fosters intimacy, connection and a sense of community between strangers. For my master's thesis I decided to take a break from my autobiographical work and instead turned my attention to some of my favorite innovators in New York City's culinary scene: Food Stylist and Creative Director- Victoria Granof, Chef and Owner of a creperie in Brooklyn-Jean Christophe and the famed Butcher of East Village meat market, Andrew Ilniki. Through interviews, conversations and documenting oral histories, I tried to explore how and why we form certain associations with food while growing up and how these associations play out in our lives as adults. I tried to understand how they inform the way we behave in relationships and inform the communities we choose. And how these relationships tie the lives of the three interviewees together in unpredictable and delightful ways.
I started every interview with the question, "What is the first meal you cooked just for yourself and nobody else. And what was happening in your life at the time?"