Tell us a bit about you?
So I guess you want me to taco bout myself. My name is Briana and I love food. My family has a small food manufacturing business so I’ve sort of grown up stuffing hibiscus flowers in bottles and relishing (hey I didn’t mean to make that pun this time!) beetroot season for the next batch of finishing vinegar. I moved to Melbourne in 2011 for uni and feel pretty comfortable calling this place my home now. That said, I feel like I am only just starting to discover how much this wonderful city has to offer – including the amount of grassroots organising around food and sustainability.
I have a background in anthropology and wrote my honours thesis on food sovereignty. I am fascinated by how food, culture and community intersect. I have since completed an Executive Master of Arts which has helped underpin my humanities background with hard skills in leadership and management. I currently work as a Community Relations Manager and basically just love hearing other people get excited about the things they are passionate about. I’m also really interested in the world of social enterprise and would be keen to work with/create some relating to food in the future!
If you are lucky, you will stumble across a handful of truly special people and communities in your lifetime. Without a doubt, YFM fits this category for me. It is the perfect combination of humble and headstrong with its mission, nurturing young people while never losing sight of the larger vision of a fairer food system.
Before every meeting, YFM vollies have a big cookup and share a meal together. When I’ve had a busy week, these are the moments I savour. With YFM, you’re not just joining another organisation to chuck on your CV (though what a brilliant one it is – your event management skills will skyrocket) you’re joining a family of food nerds who are thoughtful and inspiring.
Favourite food memory?
On exchange I discovered there’s nothing quite like a Swedish ‘sitnning’. Imagine a 3 course communal meal shared on a long table. Only now add various shots of snaps and a booklet full of songs to be sung throughout the evening together. My favourite sitnning was with a group of about 20 volunteers on a lakeside retreat. As we ate our main meal we took turns shaking a giant jar of cream. By the end of our meal we had collectively whipped the cream which would be served with our dessert. I can’t say I remember what we ate specifically that night, but I remember the laughter and friendship we shared.
Last meal you’d eat before the apocalypse?
Since moving to Melbourne, my brother and I have made it a ritual to always catch up at a new burger place – so I would probably take the risk and go somewhere unknown with him. Then I would share some homemade dessert with my parents – maybe a lemon tart or cannoli (or both!)