• I may be biased on at least two accounts, but Catching Fire, How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham is an astonishingly well done piece of work. Read more…

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  • TY and I had a late night flight on our day of departure and Hass avocado was offering a free avocado tour. We thought it might be a promotional thing and maybe not so much fun, and considered a paid a city tour instead; but finally decided that free is a pretty good price and so signed up for the avocado tour.

    Wow, were we (and the 30 or so other members of WACS who joined) glad we did! This was a glorious joy ride up into the Andes outside of the city to an 88000 acre plantation in the Quillota valley, which grows table grapes, citrus, and the belle of the ball, Hass avocados. Desarrollo Agrario is a rustic and very busy ranch with very passionate owner-operators who took us on a highly educational tour of the operation, from grafting through harvest. We were able to sample grapes right off the vine (not quite ready but succulent none the less) and the last pick of this years avocado crop (the picking season ends in late December).

    After and extensive and informative several hour tour of the range we were driven to a small stepped paddock where the ranch chefs were preparing a massive barbecue feast of spit roast beef, pork and lamb along with dozens of avocado recipes including an avocado & pisco sour. I had a sip of that to be polite but for me too much pisco!

    The meal was the best I had in Chile, and reminded me of my years as the chef of Wickenburg Inn where we held such ranch style – out door barbecues at leats once a week. There is nothing more satisfying to the palate as spit roasted meats. And fresh Chilean Hass avocado perfectly ripened is a distinctive tasting creamy and delicious experience that will keep any customer queuing up for more. All the delegates who came unanimously declared that this was the extreme highlight of the week and we were all appreciative to Hass for the adventure.

    The scenery of the ranch had me so enthralled that I honestly offered to stay on and work for room and board. Of course the owners took a look at me and said they thought with the amount I might eat, the price seemed too high. With bellies full of the finest Chilean cuisine, eyes full of the beauty of the Andean farm, minds full of an education in farming and hearts full of the warmth of our extended friendships, we boarded the bus back to hotel, then airport, then eventually our own homes, richer by far for having come to this place.

    Wish you were here, from  34 degrees south 70 degrees west and 510 Meters up.

    Christopher Gallaga

    January 29, 2010

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  • The final day of the 2010 WACS congress in Santiago Chile started out with something of a dust-up.  President Gissur Gudmundson opened the floor for Q&A and right out of the gate, Michael Ty, President of the American Culinary Federation challenged the vote of 4 bylaws suggesting that given the quorum of 60 they votes should not pass. There was spirited debate around the rooms about both the procedure and the issue at hand and finally it was resolved to revote on the 4 disputed items again. All four items passed and so, as I said before all the bylaws passed.  Michael Ty did have a keen point, that the established quorum should (under normal parliamentary law) stand, while the board had only been counting the 2/3 majority based on votes in the room at the time of voting.  Gissur did agree that the committee is planning on making a parliamentary post for future meetings and conferences.

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  • It is the third day of the congress and everyone is beginning to wear down. The long travel miles, jet lag, extended days (usually out and about from 7 to 11) the rich meals and the pisco are starting to take a toll on your intrepid delegates. Nonetheless, TY was off again early to observe the Hans Bueschkens Junior Chefs Challenge going on all day, and I was back to the Grand Salon to mix-it-up on behalf of Hong Kong & Macau.

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  • I am very jealous of TY. Not only is she young smart and energetic, with a world of opportunity and adventure ahead, she was able to spend her second day of the congress in the local culinary school in concentrated study of butchery, foods of the world and other such aspects of the encyclopedia of culinary knowledge. She will come back to Hong Kong with her mind full and share her wealth of information with the young chefs of Hong Kong in due course.

    As is common in WACS congresses, the second day of meetings was overstuffed with committee and continental reports. The full reports can be found on the WACS website: (http://www.wacs2000.org/event_coverage2010/event_highlights.php ) however, a few highlights:

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  • Our first day of the 34th WACS congress started off very early. With just enough sleep to clear the Pisco from our brains, TY was out to a wonderful market visit at six am and I was off to our continental meeting at seven.

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  • HKCA, WACS 24.01.2010 No Comments

    The arrival in Santiago de Chile is really quite a delight. The immigration and customs staff are fast, professional and well skilled, making the entry a simple event. After a long southern over-night flight (similar to HK to NZ), arriving at dawn,this is very welcomed. Equally welcome was the room ready and waiting. Chilean service is top rate. Read more…

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  • Rudy Muller opens the night.

    Rudy Muller opens the night.

    A busload of chefs walked into a wine cellar. This seems like the perfect lead-in to a one-line joke. And, one would think a soviet era bus, packed full of chefs on a road trip to a warehouse-cum-winery, itself set in the deeply industrial area of Aberdeen; would be an excellent source of humorous anecdote. However, I am at a loss to complete the joke. Read more…

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  • Dr. This demonstrating the physics of whisking egg white.

    Dr. This demonstrates the physics of whisking egg white.

    I suspect some were disappointed to learn that Dr. Hervé This, would not be conducting a “cooking show” during his seminar on Molecular Gastronomy, presented at the HITDC in Pokfulam. In his clear words he does not pretend to be a cook. I, being a lover of science, food and cooking was delighted that one of the worlds most affable, approachable and readable food scientists would be discussing the science of cooking. Read more…

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  • News, Opinion 12.02.2009 No Comments

    Michelin Guide
    A significant portion of the dining community and more than a few members of the professional food and beverage community are up in arms over the recently published Michelin guide for Hong Kong and Macau. To be certain I agree with at least one sentiment expressed in that we all seem to know of one beloved local restaurant or another that we personally consider a Hong Kong institution; but that The Guide somehow missed. Read more…

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