"The Kitchen Door, Mary Ellen Chatwin's winning entry in our Food Story competition, is an understated, dignified, poignant account of a community under pressure, and of the role food plays in maintaining cultural identity.
The story is undated but the background to it is the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. Set in Georgia, this quietly observational story of a meal held to welcome the investigators into a political murder is narrated by one of the women working behind the scenes to prepare the food. The story is her internal narrative and it takes the position of recounting events from the viewpoint of a person who is liable to be overlooked by the people gathered to eat the food she has been involved in preparing. Told with restrained, deceptive simplicity; the style reflects the story it tells in that it has hidden depths.
The Kitchen Door highlights the importance of food in ritual, the dignity of hospitality, and the role of food in holding a community together in times of grief. "