On a gap year trip to Japan in 2009 one place resonated with me the most. That place was the Instant Ramen Museum in Ikeda, Osaka. It was unlike any other museum I had ever been to before, I noticed that the museum had an equal balance between historical documentation and interactive fun, which kept her engaged!
The place was filled with great vibes and was extremely family orientated. A light bulb went off in my head as I thought to myself, “This is a concept we are missing in the UK! Something educational, but also very hands-on based around food.” On my return home, I set about creating some personal work for my portfolio. Using the Instant Ramen Museum as inspiration, I came up with the character – YumTum. YumTum was the original character in a series of plushie dolls that were intended to introduce children to specific geographical places and their local dishes. With further thought, I began to see a wider-scale use for the concept so I began to brainstorm the concept in more depth, coming up with a brand that embodied all the elements I had witnessed at the museum. Thus, YumTum & Chums was born! A brand that aims to teach children about the benefits of healthy food, the importance of learning to cook, and the history, traditions and preparation of intercontinental foods.
Travel is an integral part of growing, every new adventure and destination opens us up to a new perspective, breaking down prejudices, and initial thoughts of places and people, and replacing them with first hand information. The art of appreciation for all cultures and people is a conscious one, it takes a genuine effort to learn and expand our minds. This is why at YumTum & Chums we value introducing children to other cultures and their ways of life at an early age. Teaching children about other cultures, and informing them further about their own, strengthens identity and creates a sense of global respect. YumTum & Chums is a brand that endeavors to represent all people in an honest way, being conscious to step back from stereotyping. The world is becoming an ever more global network. It’s becoming easier to travel, and even connect with people, from every corner of the world through the click of a button so it’s of great importance that we learn about one another, our unique differences and our similarities. We can develop and broaden little explorers by making them the three C’s - Competent, Compassionate and Confident. Let's pass on the wanderlust that causes itchy feet and open young ones eyes to a literal world of possibilities.
Food is just one of the things that ties the human race together. It's something we all need to sustain us and so it is invaluable to human existence. But it goes far beyond its main function. Food embodies many elements, from the effect it can have on our health to the influence it can have on our mood. Socialising and dining often come hand in hand, it is a communal experience, one we arrange our day around, and a major part in many cultural celebrations. Food also has that oh-so-wonderful ability to elevate our mood and let's not underplay its strong nostalgic qualities. The smell, texture and tastes of dishes can evoke great memories. It can bring you back to the time your grandmother baked that sweet tart she left cooling on the counter to the aromatic smell of cumin in your first curry.
Mankind has woven a rich tapestry of cuisine throughout the ages, mixing and blending spices and an array of ingredients to create distinct signature flavours synonymous with specific regions and countries. With the global community becoming ever more connected it is important to teach the youngest of our society about the variety of cultures, customs and traditions this world contains. The world is becoming an ever more dynamic and fast paced place. This is causing our lives to become more hectic and busy, which is taking its toll on our eating habits and family time. With all family members heading out of the home early for school and work and returning late in the evening, the pressures and strains of the day mean cooking becomes a chore. The home dining experience becomes less family oriented and more of a solo experience, with each member either rushing their meal in order to enjoy the last part of free time they have before the treadmill of daily life begins or choosing to eat their meals separately in different rooms. This is something we want to change! We want to mend this divorced state from food preparation and family dining before it becomes an epidemic. By combining the education of cultures and food through storytelling, we aim to create a stronger connection to community and family dynamics. It will open up a warm family environment, encouraging a healthy dialogue between kin and a firm sense of family and community.
'Around The World in Slurpy Days' is the first in the series of many story and cooking app books, we want to eventually branch out into an animated series with the star goal of opening a family resturant!
We have a clear objective and that is to help build a new generation of young people, conscious citizens of the world with a strong sense of identity surrounding food.
Help us create a collaborative global community.
Travel + Food = Happiness