Preparing for Our Interviews

Hey all, Kinsey here. As we wait with bated breath to hear back from our prospective interviewees—Pam Allison as well as the local restaurant owners of Asheville—I figure we should share a bit of what we’re hoping to learn from these people. Only a bit, though, because what fun is it to know the script before you see the finished product?

Stories drive so much in the world, especially within communities, so it only seems right that we let Pam Allison take the reins with her own story. We’re looking to learn about her collection right from the beginning, from the days spent cooking with her family to the day she decided to make her generous donation to UNC Asheville’s special collections. What was her collection process? What does she think about making food herself rather than going out and getting it? A home kitchen can be a very private and comfortable place compared to a restaurant, and we’re looking forward to learning what role food and cooking has played in her life—and, of course, what it means to use a cookbook.

Dakota and I are also very interested in learning about the difference between the impact food and cooking have on individuals as opposed to groups of people—say, restaurants. We plan to learn about their menus, picking out which items are the most popular and speculating why, but we primarily want to know about the restaurants’ roles in the community. Do they host/participate in events? Does their design and layout foster community development and a friendly environment? What are their thoughts on our own cookbook collection? Since Asheville is a very community-driven area, we very much look forward to hearing these different viewpoints on the importance of cooking in the local scene.

Of course, we’re prepared; we have a plethora of questions sitting at the ready for everyone with whom we plan to speak, but we’re hoping that they’ll be interested enough in our project for the words to flow more organically. Whenever they do, we’ll be sure to stay true to our community values and share it with everyone.

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