Stacey Tran is a writer from Portland, OR and the creator of Tender Table. Her work can be found in The Fanzine, diaCRITICS, GRAMMA, and The Volta, among others. Wendy's Subway released her first chapbook, Fake Haiku (February 2017).
Tender Table is a storytelling series featuring women and femmes of color and gender nonconforming people of color and their stories about food, family, inheritance. For me personally, food has been a significant vehicle for love, language learning, care taking, and social engagement. It’s a ritual of sharing and learning about one another’s histories and how to take care of ourselves and one another.
The series was started in February 2017. Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of the series so far. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the many conversations, questions, meals we’ve shared.
One sentence to describe yourself and where you came from: Born and raised in Portland, OR. My parents are Vietnamese immigrants who raised me in a bilingual household.
Best piece of advice you ever got about cooking: Use a timer.
If you could only eat one meal forever, it would be: Two eggs fried over medium w/ salt/pepper, Sichuan peppercorns, Secret Aardvark, and rice vinegar over a bed of rice w/ a side of sauteed broccoli in garlic.
Favorite food: oysters, bún bò huế, kimchi soondubu jjigae + banchan, olive oil
Recommended reading: Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong; When Watched by Leopoldine Core; We Were Meant To Be A Gentle People by Dao Strom; Quiet As They Come by Angie Chau; "Dark Fruit: A Cultural and Personal History of the Plum” by Anca L. Szilágyi. Racist Sandwich Podcast episode 8: Writing about Family & Food with Amy Lam
Best meal(s): Cafe Turko’s Mother-in-Law’s breakfast plate + Turkish coffee is hands down my favorite breakfast. When my partner’s family came to visit us we (finally!) booked an amazing prix fixe group meal at Han Oak (wish I took a photo of the menu). The lobster roll at Eventide. Absolutely anything my mom cooks.
Food you’d like to try: No frills escargot.
(Photo note: "My parents and I eating longan, lychee, spit roast duck and crispy pork in Vancouver, B.C., 1995")