Umami’s So Phat

Amanda J. Guzman

Umami: serving tastier food than you mommy makes. Welcome to the Harvad media scene.

Frustrated by the endless variety of squash? Bothered by a dining service seemingly bent on destruction of the avian class? Or just plain flabbergasted at how all these people can get by without dessert forks? Welcome to Umami Magazine, Harvard’s newest guide to the world of finer dining.

The magazine’s launch party last Thursday evening went down more smoothly than a fine Port. While some came for the more generic fare, as hordes descended upon pizza and sushi, there was also filet mignon for the connoisseurs. But regardless of taste, gourmands were united by a love of food, and even more, by a love of getting away from dining halls.

“The process of scooping out food and putting it on a plate is just the antithesis of dining,” said Ritchell R. van Dams ’11, a guest at the launch and bimonthly patron of Manhattan dining establishments.

Umami editor-in-chief Christine W. Li ’10 also emphasized the escape that restaurants offer. “It’s great to get away from the atmosphere of academics, pressure, and stress.”

Some at the launch party viewed the magazine as not just a guide to food, but also a form of art for those who would rather eat their Chateaubriand than read about it. “Food is like artistic expression if you can find the right people to make it,” said executive editor Christopher Chang ’09. Chang added that he hopes to have Umami publish stories about culinary artists, such as one chef who crafted an exquisite kangaroo dish for him despite New York City’s endangered species regulations. “Some people say that kangaroo can be a bit gamey. But it was a very good cut,” recalled Chang.

And of course, such an event would have been incomplete without caviar. Umami Magazine’s favorite kind? Russian Sturgeon.