"I grew up in Punjab, and we ate rongi, which is a dish of peas and rice," Kumar explains. "So when I moved to Raleigh, I heard about Hoppin' John, and every New Year's, I began making my version of 'Hoppin' John' for all my friends. This collaboration [at the festival] was a hybrid of our past and our present," she says. "When Vish and I teamed up, we might have even said this idea to each other at the same time. It just made sense." Kumar's version included celery, carrots, bacon, and the traditional long-cooked rice, but also had coriander, a traditional Indian ingredient. It was not one static cultural idea or the other, but a more personal "authentic," a life's journey in a bite or two.