In the age of omnipresent technology & fast-paced living, our relationships are changing continuously—whether it’s with other humans, or with food. Nowadays we tend to be in a constant rush, eating alone in our cars or in front of the TV. Above all, with the digital age we’re losing human connection. We have all contributed to normalising digital consumption over the past decade, which practically enables us to remotely connect with people and access information at all times. However, the question is: are we so connected that we are all disconnected?
Julia Khan Anselmo, founder of Feisty Feast, has a simple solution to modern disconnect: organised events which focus on providing a safe space for women to connect and interact with other women. “I started Feisty Feast in 2013 shortly after I was laid off my ‘dream job’,” says Julia, “And after that happened I thought, what is it that I’m actually doing with my time? And I was able to boil it down to few things. I love meeting new people, and a lot of them happened to be quite interesting, and I love cooking, hosting and bringing people together.” After the first four Feisty Feasts—which were hosted at Julia’s house—she decided to pursue her dream and influence people all over the world with her events.
As urbanisation and industrialisation have swept across the globe, our lives have become increasingly diverse. But there’s a downside to this plethora of opportunity. “I think the way we live now is so fragmented and we spend so much time on social media. We think we’re connecting but we’re really not and so I think the best way that we can connect is through food,” says Julia. The Feisty Feast events are organised by women, for women, and each has a different theme. “I try to find people to speak to each theme. Sometimes they aren’t professional public speakers—just normal people that I meet—but really, Feisty Feast is an event where guest speakers aren’t just talking, it’s more of an interaction.” In a sense, Feisty Feast is an attempt to go back to the basics of human existence and connect to the unity that is so often missing from contemporary life, “We used to live in communities where people were close with their families, and everyone in the family had a role, and we don’t live like that anymore,” Julia says. To try to recreate some of that feeling, Feisty Feast brings like minded people together for a true feast to remember. “People come together, share a meal and it’s more memorable. You’re nourishing yourself, you’re giving yourself life, and who you eat with is actually very important too.” We behave differently in front of different groups of people, and our identities do not have to splinter with our social worlds, after all it doesn’t have to be contradictory to inner self.
Julia is involved in the creation of the entire event from start to finish, covering all aspects. “I started off by doing all the food for Feisty Feast myself,” she explains. “I am still very involved in curating the menu but not as much executing it. Travel is a huge inspiration especially when it comes to the vibe, décor and the music. I would say Feisty Feast is an expression of what I see, what I eat, where I’ve travelled and whom I’ve talked to. It’s an evolution cause we’re always changing.”
In the spirit of transformation, Feisty Feast shouldn’t be limited to a long table series: it also acts as a platform for future projects and concepts fused together by magnificent women. “I want women to make connections, it’s very difficult to meet people, and sharing a meal with someone is quite an intimate and personal thing to do. Hearing these stories, and sharing your own experience, as well as just being hosted in exceptionally beautiful environment; it really adds to making it a very memorable connection,” Julia explains. “I hope that people walk away meeting new friends and come back for another one. I also hope participants get inspired by the conversations and the people that they meet.”
In short, Julia hopes to bring the event to a wider audience across various locations and organise seasonal feasts. Most importantly, she hopes to leverage Feisty Feast to align a generation of working women eager to celebrate their achievements and push for new career heights.