¡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

All Borders Are Fiction, Perhaps Especially Food Borders.

I came across a rather silly, surprisingly stupid article from NPR yesterday. Surprising because regardless of leaning NPR is more often than not known for intelligent content. Still we must try to imagine all experts as if they are mammals, and in this NPR helps us out. The piece in question (at once answering a common question on the existence of stupid questions) asked: “When is it OK to profit from cooking other cultures food.”  Continue reading

The Bread Was Vital.

FA Bread Basket, Taipei, 2014.

In late 1997, not long after Hong Kong was formally handed over (back?) to China from the British, Andy Chworowsky, Dale Willetts, and I, began meeting in secret. As colleagues, we met through a shared frustration at work, and a dream of a better way to succeed. We met to envision, invent, and discuss, opening our own place: Fat Angelo’s Italian Restaurant.  Continue reading

Chef Paul

PaulPrudhommeSigningHolgaACropI have often dismissed the outpouring of regret when a celebrity passes away. In those times I usually like to point out that while the celebrity lived (and died) pretty well, many unfortunates lived and died in horrible circumstance, unnoticed. No less can be said of one of my culinary icon’s, Chef Paul Prudhomme. Having said all of that, I would like to take my moment to eulogize a person that had no small amount of impact on my life (and to be sure, the lives of many).  Continue reading

Not Safe For Discussion

Yesterday, on Facebook, I noted a “joke” on my Facebook feed from a “friend.” After a brief discussion (I will detail below) the “friend” blocked me from all access. So, unfortunately this story (and any further discussion) will have to rely on my testimony and memory alone. Sine he chose to disassociate completely (that will be difficult in certain trade related events) I also will not bring up any personal info here, this may make for an awkward telling. Continue reading

25 Years, 1 Month, 23 Days

Me, in the late eighties, a degenerate, but then still functioning  meth head.

Me, in the late eighties, a degenerate, but then still functioning meth head cook.

Our names meet, separate, and meet again, but the people going by the names do not remain the same. – Salman Rushdie

If you had met me on January 6, 1990, or indeed nearly any time in the few months before that, you would have met a youthful, slim, handsome, but clearly shifty, degenerate, in the early years of a burgeoning full-time occupation (it started as a hobby) as a methamphetamine addict. If you met me in the few weeks after that I would have been the one wearing a prison jumpsuit. Continue reading

Human Conveyor Oven

A view from my second shop looking down on my first shop.

A view from my second shop looking down on my first shop.

CNN in all it’s wisdom, has awarded the Hong Kong Escalator as one of the coolest forms of urban transport. As a Honkie who owned a few businesses on the escalator over a span of 8 years, one of them in which I commuted from the central ferry pier to Caine road and back at least 5 days a week for as many years, I think I am very qualified to comment. Continue reading

What’s in a name?

(null)Kung Hei Fat Choi! Welcome to the year of the (dare I say it?) goat! Recently the year came under a flurry of dispute as euphemistic language took hold and, much like the rodent before (year of the Rat became Mouse in polite company) so the year of the Goat became Sheep and then Ram. Well we have a judgement on high and it is indeed the year of the Goat. Continue reading