Psychobabble: Tarik Abdullah
Food for Thought
Seattle chef Tarik Abdullah first gained national attention as a contestant on Anthony Bourdain’s ABC show “The Taste”. Cooking is his passion, but he doesn’t want to just feed people’s stomachs. He wants to feed their minds as well.
This is PSYCHOBABBLE, pseudo-psychoanalysis with no scientific merit, done strictly for entertainment purposes.
JOHN LEE FISHER: Answer the following questions and tell me the first thing that pops into your mind. You’re walking through the forest. Is it daytime or nighttime?
TARIK ABDULLAH: Daytime.
So there’s something that you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of being in the dark?
I don’t think that it’s fear. It’s just not being able to see everything.
So you don’t like uncertainty.
I guess you could say that. Yeah.
You come to an animal that’s stuck in a trap. What type of animal is it?
Whatever you call a baby deer.
So you think people are pretty harmless. Do you stop and help it or do you keep going?
Oh, I’m gonna help it.
So you try and help people as much as you can. You’re a helping person.
You come to an object. It can be anything in the universe you want it to be. What is it?
An ultimate weapon to teach the youth.
That’s pretty simple. You want to teach the youth or find a way to inspire the youth. So that’s pretty easy.
I’ve been teaching since since ‘99 and… My hashtag is teachthekidsandfeedthepeople so that’s pretty much been my life, man.
You come to a cup. It can be made out of any type of material. What type of material is it made out of?
It’s gonna be made out of some kind of natural elements. I’m gonna go with wood.
What’s inside of the cup and is it half empty or half full?
Water. It’s full. Definitely full.
So you’re not materialistic, but you value the fundamental beauty of nature.
Food is all about nature, about the natural cycle of life. There’s nothing more fundamental to life than food. Nutrients.
And you’re an optimist.
You come to a body of water. What type of body of water is it and how do you get past it?
I’m not a swimmer so… It’s warm water. That’s for sure. Let’s say warm sea water. A sea. Yeah, a sea.
How do you get past it?
I would have to take a boat. It would be handmade. It would be made out of a tree. I’m trying to remember this tree when I was in Jamaica that they make their fishing boats out of. It’s like unbelievably hard, sturdy, and that’s one of its most common uses.
So I guess you look at sex like — I don’t know — a warm thing —
It’s intimate, man. It’s a special time, man. It’s not supposed to be just hit it and quit it.
You come to a wall. How many feet tall is the wall?
Is the wall hard to get over or easy to get over?
It’s not too hard, but I’ll get over it.
So you’ve had some trials and tribulations and maybe you’re still going through some of them because you said, “I’ll get over it.” So…
Yeah, I did. There were some times in my life and then I think right now that over-working has definitely taught me a lot about what I need to be doing and what I shouldn’t be doing.
What do you think you need to be doing?
I need to be spending a lot more time with my family and doing other things besides constantly working, but I feel like working is for the greater good. I know my mission. When you know your passion, you know that you’re going to go through hurdles. But you can’t just look at them and walk away from them. I mean, you could, but what’s the point? When you’re passionate about what you do you just want to get through it, despite all of the challenges.
Once you get over the wall, what do you see?
A room full of happy people.
That’s deep. So the ultimate result of the things you’re doing is helping people find some type of fulfillment in food.
Teaching kids and feeding people creates a communal effect on so many different levels. Food brings people together and it’s more than just food. I mean it’s so many different levels.
Food for thought. Knowledge is food.