This month, we're connecting with Tarn Tayanunth of Dumpling Drop - a local dumpling restaurant right here in Victoria, BC, that uses traditional methods and a modern flare to make delicious and authentic dumplings.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE WORLD OF FOOD? WHAT IMPACT DO YOU HOPE TO MAKE?
My name is Tarn Tayanunth and I'm the owner of Dumpling Drop, a restaurant in Chinatown, Victoria. We also sell frozen dumplings to make at home, and supply these frozen dumplings to retail and grocery stores all over the Island. My goal with my business is to help in the revitalization of Chinatown's unique Asian culture, serving the food that I grew up on and that is close to my heart.
WHAT FOOD OR RECIPE PROVIDES YOU WITH A SENSE OF NOSTALGIA
Anything cooked by my Aunty Lynn (the original owner/head chef at Baan Thai). She is a huge inspiration to me and helped me develop many of the recipes served at my own restaurant today.
WHAT DOES "KEEP FOOD ALIVE" MEAN TO YOU?
Keeping food alive means to keep the connection between food and people, food and culture, and food and family alive. Food tells stories, as it is passed down through tradition, as it evolves through generations, and as it is experienced for the first time by those unfamiliar to it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOL?
My Thai knife that my Aunty Lynn gave to me. I would give up every knife in my kitchen just to keep that one. It's very special to me.
HOW DID DUMPLING DROP START? WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT?
Dumpling Drop started when my mom got diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2018. Her doctor recommended we find an activity to do together so we could bond: one that brought back good memories from the past, but that was intuitive and did not require much cognitive exertion. Rolling dumplings as a family is common in many Asian cultures; something where the whole family can sit around the table chatting, reflecting, laughing, and of course making delicious food. Of course, spending hours and hours together resulted in more dumplings than the two of us could possibly eat ourselves. Eventually, Dumpling Drop evolved from our afternoon hobby - and my mom has finally stopped asking me how I'm going to eat all these dumplings myself!
LEARN MORE ABOUT TARN & DUMPLING DROP
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It is with deep respect and gratitude that we create, build and operate our business in the communities of Southern Vancouver Island, which as a business we acknowledge is located within the ancestral and unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) (Esquimalt and Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia'new, T’Sou-ke and W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) peoples.