About chefcrsh

An itinerant gentleman adventurer and chef-entrepreneur, living and working in Hong Kong for some decades now.

#CookingAMA

I was invited to host a feed of the cooking week ask me anything on amafeeds. Feel free to drop in and fire off a question. As I have nothing in particular to sell, I took the ask me anything format to heart and will answer anything you think you may want to know about my life (provided I don’t feel it is too personal). Most of the questions so far are about my vocation but a few are more about life. All the questions so far are interesting and many have caused me to ponder and even reestablish some first principles. 

Bereaved.

Grief is an odd thing…perhaps the greatest lurker-troll. We can sense it throughout our day, stirring around the delta of consciousness, but not quite palpable. Then it strikes, out of the depths, with full, blunt, force. Perhaps in a momentary reflection on the past…a picture, a smell, or a simple chore. The thought of how our loved one is no more, will never take part in this life again strikes us as if by complete surprise. In the flash of an instant we shift from a normal composure to a sobbing agony of lonely contemplation. Continue reading

Goodbye Cody, January 6, 2018

Cody’s last moments.

I have been asked to write a book chronicling the life of our dog Cody. As I ponder the reams of paper my omnipresent writers block has left blank, this seems a daunting task, and probably a fool’s errand. On the other hand, this will perhaps become one more gift a wonderful friend and companion has left me. That through the telling of his mute life, I may find my voice again, and possibly some peace with the void his passing has left in my heart.  Continue reading

What is this quintessence of dust?

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed about my small work by the good people in the ATO of the US Consul General for Hong Kong and Macau. The resultant fine edit is a string of strange non sequitur statements (by yours truly), all ending in the form of a question? Whatdayagonnado! It was very nice being presented and of course the school, students and my team look lovely. 

In the hours of actual footage the idea I was trying to get through was:

I am the result of a deep culinary tradition of the melting pot of America. Brought to love diverse, ethnic home-style cuisine by my heritage, and especially by the wonderful home cooking of my Mother and Grandmothers. That the America I know, love, and am proud of is a place that celebrates diversity, pluralism, and damned good food. Some of the best food in the world comes from my place of birth, and certainly The USA produces many of the worlds finest ingredients.

While I may have become a gypsy – traveling the world, considering it my nation, and its people my brethren – I am still guided by the wondrous bounty, eclectic variety, and warm conviviality that, to me, is American cuisine. In my work here at HKA, and in all past stations, I have tried to share my love for all that I received by accident of birth. To me that is quintessentially what being American is all about. 

The Value of Vocation

For three weeks this summer Henry and I stayed at our first, and probably last airbnb. We have no true horror stories to share, we were not robbed, or cheated, nor were we in any danger. At worst we experienced a few minor inconveniences or injustices. However, what airbnb gave us was a reminder that Hotelier, like Chef, or Writer (to name just a few), is a serious vocation, not something just anyone can play at (my written word is evidence enough). Continue reading

Hysterrorism

It is July 3, 2017, I’m inPhoenix, and the vultures are circling.

Three days ago, our first morning in the states, we ventured forth to ride the Phoenix Metro Light Rail from our airbnb to my Parents home. About half way through the journey an SUV careened into the tram, before spinning out, taking down an 8 inch thick lamp pole, and crashing headlong into a wall.  Continue reading

¡Viva México!

Not it, but kind of like…

For a lot of (maybe bad) reasons, I (and most others) associate my culinary heritage first with Italy and then second with Melting-Pot America. But the truth is that my first choice is almost entirely wrong. I do have a strong culinary ancestry from that region, my paternal Grandmother, although from Sicily. I also started my career in an Italian restaurant, and made my biggest claim to fame creating another one. However, given that I am second generation American with DNA from equal quarters: Mexican (Paternal Grandfather), Italian (Sicilian, Paternal Grandmother), German (Maternal Grandfather) and  Polish (Maternal Grandmother) my second choice is the most correct ethnically and indeed “spiritually” too. I am an American, and so not easy to pigeonhole, but believe it or not, as close to my heart as Italian food is, there is another equal lover, from south of the border. Continue reading