“2020 has been hard on everyone. The pandemic really hit us hard.”
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought grief to millions of people around the world. The plethora of economic, social, mental, political, legal and other factors that encompass the main topic of grief are immeasurable. However, it is safe to say that the pandemic has hit every individual in a completely different way- whether it be an economic loss, a worsening in the instability of mental health or even something viewed as a smaller problem such as the “Quarantine 15”, are incomparable components of the grief we as human beings face in truly incomparable ways.
Everyone has their own battles to fight, and ultimately, we are only able to fight our own ones.
This reminded me of my personal experience with social media throughout the pandemic, when I would constantly compare myself to what I saw in people’s Instagram stories or Facebook posts as I endlessly scrolled through my phone. Seeing filtered photos, cute outfits, all the people I knew gathering together without me evidently made me immediately compare myself to my peers, as well as to other people I didn’t even know. Although, the truth was that I really did not know what a single one of them was actually going through behind all the camera filters and smiles. It reminds me of something that my mother always likes to say which is that “everyone is happy on social media”. It truly is a complete illusion, and for that reason it’s important to also remember life will not always be all sunshine and rainbows.
Outside of social media, it is human nature to compare ourselves to one another. Our parents, friends and loved ones may have constantly told us NOT to do it due to its toxic nature, but at the end of the day, we are human, and it really is inevitable. That being said, the grief we face in tough situations such as through the COVID-19 pandemic can also be seen from a different light, specifically, how to turn that grief into an opportunity.
Aisle Mine is the perfect, shining example. After the 25 year-old driven, intelligent and vivacious entrepreneur Kiana Estevez founded this particular social food platform to connect individuals from all walks of life through life skills and cooking, Aisle Mine also opened up many opportunities to other talented and passionate individuals in the food and beverage industry, allowing them to work from the comfort of their own kitchens to deliver a meaningful virtual cooking experience. This was done in order for them to immerse themselves in a social experience after facing their own personal battles, which have evidently shaped them into who they are today. Regardless of their past experiences, each individual’s fascinating journeys have ultimately shaped them into becoming the successful human beings they are today.
Here are just a few examples from our super talented cohort of chefs:
- Coletta Zu from Zurich, Switzerland
Coletta was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. However, she used this opportunity to start cooking by experimenting with foods which are generally better for your health and well-being. Being fluent in German and English also allows her to provide any necessary translations when her family joins her in the kitchen throughout her cooking experiences.
Coletta’s Go-To Cooking Dish is a classic pasta dish named älplermagronen. This is a Swiss pasta dish made by layering pasta and potatoes with cheese, caramelized onions and more! Follow Coletta on Instagram here to stay tuned with her colorful and beautiful cooking journeys!
- Dhruti Vasavada and her daughters Vrinda and Kinjal from WahFood! Food Lab based in San Francisco, California
Since Dhruti’s daughters had moved out to embark on their collegiate journey, Dhruti Vasavada has been an experimental chef for the past 30 years, and as a result, began to document her recipes on @wahfoofoodlab. This account is run by an extremely talented mother-daughter trio. Kinjal is an award-winning photographer and MD-in-the-making, and Vrinda is an avid writer and computer scientist.
Every recipe is a fusion of fresh California produce and spices from around the world, especially from the Indian subcontinent. Check out more on their website.
- Gianna Stanley from Richmond, Virginia
Past Graduation and four years as a data analyst turned consultant, Gia realized she was on the wrong career path. After 14 hour days at work, Gia would come home and stress cook in the kitchen, where she felt a strong sense of comfort. One day, Gia decided to quit and began volunteering full time at a soup kitchen in Boston. That was when Gia realized that feeding people and sharing her passion for cooking was truly the right path for her.
Gia’s nana was the house chef with a repertoire ranging from hearty Chilean classics to the very best ham and cheese sandwich. Growing up with an incredible cook in the family allowed Gia to eat incredible cooked-with-oodles-of-love meals all the time. All of Gia’s cooking resources can be found here on her LinkTree.
Gia has joined teams of chefs to execute eight dinners at the James Beard house, completed her culinary training with an externship at Blue Hill, New York and currently is a full time private chef. Follow Gia’s beautiful sustainable cooking journey on Instagram here!
Overall, what better way to kick start #InternationalWomensMonth by spotlighting 3 of our super talented female chefs?
Grief is inevitable, but these chefs, Kiana and many other shining and exemplar individuals had decided to make an opportunity out of this lengthy pandemic. Learn an important life skill, from a class which teaches you much more than cooking, but the skills to provide you with the kind of education a human being needs outside of the traditional classroom setting. Learn from others, instead of comparing yourself to them through a shared virtual cooking experience, whether it is baking bread, crafting a mocktail, learning about digital privacy or through another one of the plethora of virtual social experiences offered by Aisle Mine.
Turn your period of grief into an opportunity.
Instead of grieving over wishing you were on a plane and missing travel, bring your taste buds on a culinary journey with chefs from all over the world such as Gia, Dhruti, Coletta and many more in the Aisle Mine family.