Graci In The Kitchen was lucky enough to be featured in the November issue of Taiwan’s Centered on Taipei magazine this month (Page 30), with an awesome article written by Verity Mackintosh, a New Zealand TV Producer and uber talented Portrait Photographer (who also happens to be GITK’s Executive Producer – lucky me!). Got a few minutes to spare? Have a read 🙂
The intrepid darling who captured our hearts with her love for food, friends and the arts is back with her second series of “Graci in the Kitchen” – a show dedicated to creating food to match your mood. Season 2 is launching on 16th October 2013 and episodes can be found at www.GraciInTheKitchen.com
Graci is a New Zealand diplomat nearing the end of her two-year, full immersion Mandarin training in Taipei, Taiwan. Mandarin is the fifth string to her language bow.This award-winning social entrepreneur still manages to find the time to sate her obsession with food by producing a TV series. Season one was picked up and broadcast over a number of different TV-On-Demand networks, reaching almost a million viewers within its first year. Not bad for a passion project. The US viewers are taking the lead, with Canada, Israel, Taiwan and NZhot on their heels.
Those that have met Graci know she is gregarious, exceptionally talented, very modest and a devoted friend. Graci always keeps her father’s advice close to heart: “The higher a tree grows towards the skies, the deeper its roots must spread underground.’
Graci’s strongest memories of her family are around a dinner table. “Our socialization always revolves around food – making it, eating it, sharing it. We love to eat and we love to eat lots of it.” The eldest of three girls, Kim grew up in West Auckland, New Zealand. Though she worked at her father’s Japanese restaurant, she was always out on the floor looking after people. “I was never taught to cook, it was only when I left home and missed home food that I started to experiment in the kitchen.”
Touching people’s hearts wherever she went, in 2005 Graci was inducted as an Asia:NZ Foundation Scholar and Young Leader. A group of “outstanding young people who can inspire fresh thinking on how to build a more integrated and prosperous future between New Zealand and Asia.” She has also worked in government to strengthen the ethnic youth voice in New Zealand; and has co-founded two not-for-profit organisations – one promoting the multicultural identity of young Korean-Kiwis; the other using dance to inspire and advance youth development goals.
A concept that Graci has investigated for many years, the show is about “moody food”. Graci explores how food can affect your mood through eating a combination of foods and flavors, fats, vitamins & minerals proven to have a positive impact your mood and body. “When I’m having a fat day, I like to eat salmon because it stimulates your metabolism 3-4 times more than carbs or fat. So you take in fewer calories and instead burn more.“ While gallivanting around her favourite spots in Taipei forinspiration and sampling emotional treats, Graci introduces traditional recipes with a twist, or her own creations using ingredients from all her homes: New Zealand, Korea and Taiwan. With support from NZ Chocolate Mogul Whittakers, Graci infuses her favourite Dark Ghana chocolate with matcha tea from a Taiwanese tea company Tearroir to make “Macadamia Tea Chocolate Crackers” which features in Episode 8: Feeling Tired.
The Show Must Go On
After enlisting the help of Executive Producer, Verity Mackintosh, sason 2 has taken on a slightly different look and form. Currently based In Beijing, Mackintosh has almost a decade of experience in Arts, Factual Entertainment, Documentary and TVC broadcast and online television production in New Zealand. Mackintosh consulted on series one; and has been the driving force behind season 2 – a project spanning three islands, Taiwan, China and Singapore. “Thankfully we are all in the same time zone” as the series has been 100% run and delivered online, relying on optimized video production software and constant online contact.
Though small, the crew consisted of people from New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan, Poland, South Africa, America and Nicaragua. Through the “Linkedin” community, an experienced multidisciplinary Director of Photography approached Mackintosh about the project, boasting over two decades of experience including top rating culinary shows, MasterChef and New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker. We did everything in our means to secure his skill set for the show; while employing the skills of hair and makeup artist Kimora Lee, and Lin Dian Jen who designed the look of the wardrobe for this season.
The crew had a 10-day window to shoot the series this September. Even the strongest storm to have formed in the last 30 years didn’t hold them back. The nimble crew just shuffled a few locations and worked right through super-typhoon Usagi.
Graci would eventually like to release a cookbook where recipes are categorized not by type of ingredient or mealtime but by mood, so that readers can be inspired to feed mind, body and soul. Through each recipe, she hopes to inspire more young people to discover cooking and to experience the holistic power of food.
Where to from here? Graci wants to keep eating. She wants to continue engaging with people around the world, and have their stories inspire more mood-based recipes.