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Filmmaker Grace Lee expressed her interest in making a film on Odia food #Odisha 

BHUBANESWAR: Award winning independent filmmaker Grace Lee expressed her interest in making a film on Odia food, known for its unique flavour and taste. Lee was in the city to screen her film ‘Off the menu: Asian America’ in several parts in Odisha as part of the American Film Showcase (AFS) conducted by US Consulate General, Hyderabad.

“I liked Odia food very much. I had different kinds of Indian food but some of the foods I tasted in Odisha are very unique like the powder (badi chura), and shrimp (Chingudi checha) and fish with mustard gravy, I never had. In US when we go to any Indian restaurant they don’t serve these typical foods. I heard a lot about the temple food of Odisha. It would be a great opportunity if I could make a film on Odia food,” said Grace Lee.

Her film Off the Menu is a road trip into the kitchens, factories, temples and farms of Asia Pacific America that explored how our relationship to food reflects our evolving community.
“You can’t disconnect culture with food. Since my film takes place in United Sates and essentially about Asian immigrant community there is a longing for their favourite taste they might have lost being in a different country. Food helped connect us Asians in America,” Lee said.

Lee said she is ‘nervous’ and ‘disturbed’ over Trump’s immigration policy. “It’s very disturbing to me. My parents are immigrants and I live in an immigrant community. To me it’s not what the America I understand stands for. It’s not I value and not lots of people I know value. America founded on freedom of religion and freedom of expression. It’s completely upended all these things. On the one hand I am nervous as I don’t know what the future holds and I know there are lots of people protesting it because it is not right,” she added.

Debashis Patnaik, founder of Dalma chain of restaurants that serves typical Odia food, had a discussion with Lee on Odia food. “We told her that we call Odia food as delight food because it is less oily and less spicy. She was interested to know so much about the history of our food and style of temple food, our sweet dishes and so on. She also wanted us to open an restaurant in US.”  Read the full article

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