We had the good fortune of connecting with James and Izzie Ford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James and Izzie, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
Food and nutrition have been an important topic since before we had our daughter. Being from different cultures we wanted to raise a child that was aware of her food heritages and was exposed to a variety of cultural dishes from around the world. We feel that by showing her the world through food she would understand the differences and similarities between people and see that there are more reasons we are alike than we are different. Nutrition is important to everyone’s health, especially a growing child, and we felt it was important to make healthy foods normal and a usual part of her diet. As our daughter learned to eat solid foods she quickly showed interest in tofu, kale, and quinoa- foods she still loves to eat as a “big kid”. One of her favorite foods are salads and she has been able to decide what her favorite greens, veggies, and toppings are. As she has eaten new foods we talk about how that food will help her body grow and be strong. She can identify what foods will support different bodily functions, from protein to build muscle, fiber to maintain healthy digestion, and carbs to provide her body the energy to play, learn, and grow. These two topics have allowed us to connect with her as parents and allowed her to connect to the world around her, creating a positive relationship with food, health, and her community that will stay with her as she grows.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We believe that food is a unique device to unite people. We started Maize and Honey as a way to explore and share different dishes from all cuisines. By researching and learning, we have sought to understand the history of meals we eat every day and learn how food relates to the story of who we are. We are always excited to try new foods and connect with more people. We feel extremely grateful that in our first year and a half we have been able to grow our brand carefully and thoughtfully. We learned that being ourselves and putting the food first is how we can stay true to the mission that started this whole project. We aspire to continue our food connection and eduction by each exploring new territory. James wants to pursue growing and producing our own ingredients and Izzie would like to one day write a book exploring our collective history through food and the foodways that brought some of our favorite ingredients into existence.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Antonio is a culturally diverse city that has its origins in Spanish and Tex-Mex culture and today the city reflects cultures from all over the world. No trip to San Antonio would be complete without a visit to the downtown River Walk and the historic mission trail that has been recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. To eat, we love to explore the local diversity and would have to go to Sari-Sari, a Filipino market, restaurant, and bakery that started out as a market in the family’s garage. We love their lumpia and pancit for South Asian comfort food. We first met in Hawaii and always head to L&L Hawaiian BBQ for a taste of the Aloha spirit. Every time we go, we eat the chicken katsu plate with extra macaroni salad and can’t miss the butter mochi. For something everyone will enjoy let’s head to Stone Bro’s wood fire pizzas at a local farmer’s market on Saturday, the chefs at Stone Bro’s have over 30 years of combined experience that have created pizzas like The Dabsky and Texas Meat Lovers pizza both featuring Texas smoked brisket. On Sundays, it is a tradition to sit as a family and enjoy barbacoa for breakfast which can be found all over the city and everyone has their favorite local place. For a unique culinary and cultural experience, we would go to the Pearl, which features shopping, dining, a riverside amphitheater, and the third campus of The Culinary Institute of America. The Pearl has it’s origins as a brewery that operated from 1883 to 2001, Pearl is a hallmark of the local community has a great farmers market every weekend where we would find farm fresh food, baked goods, local beers, and homemade sweets.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to recognize and build up the food community around us that has welcomed us as we started our journey in food! From restaurants, home cooks, food bloggers, community organizations, pitmasters, and brands from around the world, we have been given a platform to express our food and how we believe food can bring us together. We have also had the opportunity to build up the community around us by support small and local businesses that in turn give back to their communities. We can’t pick just one, as each has taught us or inspired us in unique ways that reflect their input to the food community.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.