【CONFINEMENT】Pumpkin Bread

Here begins a most unlikely hard-left on my usual visual stimulus, brought on by this impounded moment in history we’re witnessing.

Eat up.

Sharing a meal with someone is a most intimate experience, is it not? The cadence of their order (perhaps a split second decision under pressure that they immediately regret, but too late), the pace of their consumption, the size of their mouthfuls, the separation of food types and sauces on a plate and a fork, their choice of accompanying beverage in a public place where optics are everything. Everything.

And then there’s the home-cooked food photo, bearing even more telltale personality indicators. About about my handmade ceramics hoarding problem; about my sneaking Chinese ingredients into everything; about my overhead camera angle; about the books I read while eating and the question of why I read while eating at all; about my vegetarianism-turned-veganism-cum-inadvertent-gluten-aversion and all its subsequent questions about gut health and iron and B12 deficiencies. The idea of people I’ve never met knowing how and what I ingested today leans more on the personal side of the public-private lines I strive to maintain in our borderless existence. That said, this very borderless existence has landed us in uncharted territory. There is no precedent for the slow motion train-crash that is 2020 thus far. I don’t suppose we can be in the business of sticking to what we know whilst we wash our hands singing happy birthday twice and touch no surfaces and touch no faces and wait it out at home. So here goes: a series of recipes from my confinement test kitchen; made with love to mask anxiety in strange times; triaging the contents of my fridge based on urgency of consumption and necessity to make every part of a piece of produce go as far as humanly possible; as demanded by you.

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Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese filmmaker, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Zhang has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Zhang’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NOWNESS, and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for four consecutive years. CNN has identified Zhang as a leading fashion photographer in Asia and ELLE named her the region’s most influential digital voice. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim. In 2018, co-curated the first annual FOREFRONT Summit focused on inter-industry problem-solving at all scales of business. From this king summit, Zhang developed FOREFRONT+ – a round table series of candid conversations covering subject matters of universal concern. In 2019, THE FACE Magazine engaged Zhang as Creative-Director-at-Large for Asia for its relaunch. Zhang is currently working on her first feature film.