In the wake of a tumultuous moment for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) communities nationwide comes a much needed – and delicious – morsel of hope. This Saturday, May 15th, the Hanul Family Alliance presents Did You Eat? Beyond The Plate, a moving short documentary focusing on the older adult Korean American population in Chicago, as part of its annual gala, held virtually this year. The film’s title plays off a popular greeting for Koreans, as asking someone if he or she has eaten is a cultural way to extend love and show care. Hanul Family Alliance is a Korean American social services organization providing comprehensive care to older adults and immigrant families on the north side of Chicago and Chicagoland area.
The filmmaking team includes Director Daniel Kwon, Producer/UPM Mary Munez, and Cinematographers Matt Hatleberg and Caitlyn Spiritus. The film weaves narratives of older adult Korean American immigrants with an interactive cooking demonstration by Michelin starred Chef Beverly Kim. Hanul’s culturally responsive meal delivery and nutrition program is highlighted in the documentary. It has been vital to Korean American Seniors’ physical and emotional wellness throughout the COVID pandemic. Beverly Kim is owner and head chef of renowned Chicago eateries Parachute and Wherewithall, and founder of a non profit for developing female chefs, the Abundance Setting.
Chef Beverly’s roots with Hanul run deep, having begun her culinary career as a volunteer in the organization’s kitchen. Together, Hanul and Kim also worked to bring Kim’s contemporary twist on a comfort food classic, Lobster Soondubu, to life for viewers. An at-home meal kit will be made available for pick up on May 15, Hanul’s annual spring fundraising gala. The film will premiere at the gala, which will be held virtually this year due to COVID. The AAPI population has been converged upon by systemic racism and the civil unrest of the pandemic. Did You Eat? Beyond the Plate renews the spirit with an intergenerational feast for the eyes and heart. Hanul Family Alliance captures how Korean Americans’ enduring resilience is rooted in the comfort of cultural and familial preservation. It is a welcome segue of positivity and hope sure to be embraced by audiences everywhere.