I often lose faith in humanity these days. Oddly it is for the opposite reasons that most people seem to be losing faith in humanity these days. I lose faith because I see a rabid willingness to: see others as demons or subhumans, cast blame, presume guilt, assume the worst, and be ready to commit, or ask the state to commit acts of violence before having possession of anything that could reasonably be considered fact of a matter. Continue reading →
I have from time to time enjoyed some of Ricky Gervais’s humour. I thought Office and Extra’s were oddly funny and mostly enjoyable. I even liked some of his pod cast (when it was free) and stand-up, though I often found myself uncomfortable with what seemed to me to be a bullying and bigoted mindset.
Today, as with many days off we take Cody with us, for lunch, a walk, maybe a hike, some swimming, some running and good old family time. We have done so with Cody for nearly 12 years…all of his life. We have cared for Cody, trained him and had him certified to be off leash (one of the few in HK) we love and cherish him, always bring or buy him plenty of water and specifically are the best experts of his well-being. Continue reading →
I grew up with Robin Williams, him being just enough older than me, to be one of the people I looked up to. I heard his comedy before he was even known for Mork and Mindy, and of course following that show and his further incredible career and success. I am sad that he chose the path he did, answering the most important philosophical question in the affirmative, especially because that does detract from his legacy. Continue reading →
As many of you know I my employer shut down in May without notice and without final pay. Therefore I and all of the staff to some degree, were abruptly hurled onto the boggy path of seeking redress through the Hong Kong Protection of Wages on Insolvency Scheme.
I knew there was a high chance that I would like the film Chef by Jon Favreau when I first heard about it last year. Favreau had clearly done a lot of homework back then and had thrown around line cook slang like he had chops. I always enjoy a film about my vocation that has a heavy seasoning of inside baseball. Plus I am a sucker for feel good movies about food. Continue reading →
Ill preface this by saying I am sorry to see anyone passing from this world. I am also sorry to see a culture that would encourage such a lack of life balance. However…the news on the internet, by armchair bloggers, that Nathan Laity died of over work is ignorant of the facts, all readily available with a few minutes of reflection and google research. Continue reading →
Today, June 4th, I am reminded again of Tank Man, and The Gate of Heavenly Peace. On this day, I offer a toast to those who resisted so valiantly. Acting as if no mob, no matter how large, powerful or well armed, could dissuade them from self determination. Acting as if their right to liberty were inherent, and unalienable. In so doing they showed us all that it is, if we only dare live it. Those who died, and those who lived, made the world a better place, if only just slightly. It is by progress of this kind that most of our battles are won, after all. Sure the occasional significant shift, the punctuation in the equilibrium, is noteworthy…who could ignore it? But the gradual freeing up of ones mind and perhaps of ones peers is the sure, steady, path that has taken millennia and continues clearly just ahead. Unlike Allegro Non Troppo, we march steadily towards our betterment as individuals and as a species. Occasionally one of us, say a shy cook in Phoenix, is inspired by the courage and active liberty of one such as Tank Man…in that moment there is magic, and perhaps a small amount of hope for the future of human kind.
During my last trip and this one I stayed in an apartment looking directly across from Elephant Mountain…one of the items frequently found on things to do in Taipei lists. For whatever reason I have not had time to take this reportedly short and mild walk, even though I love hiking. Time drawing short for this trip, and having a free morning I decided to give it a go. There was a light rain when I stepped out onto Xingyi road, but I had my umbrella and rain slicker if necessary. So, I set off anyway.
One thing I can say without a doubt. I have traveled extensively and cooked in kitchens all over the world. From five star mega hotels to simple little fast food shops, I have had my hands in the mix, as it were.
Almost everywhere I have cooked, and with every level of chef from highly trained gourmet, to short order cook, I have noticed one habit, that I have always found disgusting, and have tried to dissuade them from. Cleaning plate rims with a kitchen towel.
One of the qualities, that many chefs, at least chefs like me, have to develop is one of improvisation. Chef’s often find themselves in situations that develop a strong, life-hacking, skill set. Another quality, perhaps more particular to your chef at large, is that I like to break fast with some form of bread, usually toasted. Continue reading →