Fr!day sat down and spoke to Candace Kolb, manager of Tummo. Her love for food and the philosophy that she imbues left us thinking about our own attitude towards food.
On a bright and sunny afternoon, Mandala Street in Thamel is bustling with tourists and locals alike. But as we sat down outside, Tummo cancels out all those noises and a sense of calm settles over us. Candace said that she wanted Tummo to have a unique atmosphere where you can relax.
Candace has always had a passion for food. Since a young age, she bought a Julia Child cookbook and taught herself to cook, and then fell in love. This love for food has been growing ever since. She has traveled extensively over America, and wherever she settled down, she fell in love with the food there. She was traveling for a while, and she first came to Kathmandu in 2009 for a very brief stint. When she went back to the States, she missed it so much that she came back for good in 2013 and declared, ‘It feels like home!’ Since then, she has been involved in the food scene.
Candace has a unique philosophy towards food. She believes in the concept of dining and relaxation, and would like to introduce this in Nepal. According to her, dining is not only about refueling your plate, rather, savoring and enjoying the food and holding a conversation. Even when it comes to Tummo, she wants people to know that this is a place where people can relax and enjoy. While having their delicious lunch, she told us that we should definitely relax and enjoy our food! She believes that food is more enjoyable when shared. It is the joy and feeling of satisfaction that people should get when they go out to dine together. She believes that everyone has a story to share, and that can be done over food. She believes that ‘food is art’. She is very visual, and believes that every dish that is served to the customers must stun them both in terms of looks and flavor. She believes that a great is dish should have a harmonious balance between taste and presentation.
Restaurant Week is an event where restaurants showcase new dishes at various deals. It is an event dedicated to celebrate food. Candace is a veteran when it comes to Restaurant Weeks. Whenever there was one happening, she would attend it. She says that it is an event where one can experience various varieties of food. Or, it might be old classics that are presented in new settings. She has always made it a point to visit at least one restaurant during the event. She mentions that the event is the perfect place to invite friends and experience various cultures; all gathered together for the mutual love of food.
The first Restaurant Week that she attended was in Honolulu in Hawaii. Since then, she has been to the ones in Washington DC, New York City, Denver, and many more. She mentions that each and every restaurant plans their own Restaurant Week and has different ideas.
When it comes to the Restaurant Week that is happening in Kathmandu for the first time, she is very excited. This is the first time that she will be participating as an owner, and not a diner. She is fascinated by the ever-growing bistros and cafes that are appearing in every nook and corner, and believes that Kathmandu is like Melbourne, which is called the ‘City of Bistros’. She believes that this event will definitely be a success, as the people out here love to go out with their friends and eat. This event will encourage people to move out of their comfort zones and discover new places and cuisines.
Candace is an inspiration to women, especially for those who love food and want to venture into the culinary field. We were left astounded by her pure passion and love for food. It shows in the effort that she has put in Tummo, which has both exceptional food and service.