I finally made it here. To Spain and Portugal. Although it would be ideal to write two separate posts on these countries, the experience and photos are weaved into one story of this trip, so I decided to just stick to one.
It was time. For a proper getaway. It's been a bit too long since I said hello to Europe, and from my recollections of the cities I visited years ago, food was not the main focus. Fast forward 10 years to adulthood + a major change in my palate,food was the main mission for this trip. I had my expectations of Spain and Portugal, but the time spent in 5 cities in 10 days has definitely peaked my curiosity, as well longing for more by the time we left. I'm not sure if our itinerary was the most ideal, nor would I recommend the exact layout. However, I can provide honest and sensible feedback for those who are planning a trip to these countries.
The last three months of my life was dedicated to this year's Star Chefs ICC-International Culinary Congress 2015 held just this past October in Brooklyn. In it's 10th year, this is the largest food conference in North America! Chefs from all over the world, mainly the U.S., gathered under one roof -to learn, to experience, and to get inspired from each other...and from everything in their line of vision. Where else will we be able to brag about being five feet away from MIchel Bras & Jose Andrès (just to name a few). This definitely was the largest event I was involved in, as this three day congress held close to 1,500 folks in one space, with one event team.
I had the amazing...let's just say one-of-a-kind opportunity getting involved at this year's ICC. Why? one of my main projects under my radar was to spearhead the first 'Ramen Battle' at ICC. Was it because I was Asian? As I jokingly asked my director. Well, that may be partially true, haha. Whatever the case may be, this was the most exciting part of my whole process. I could go on and on about Star Chefs, or what I learned from ICC in general. However, to be on the main stage and get to know some pretty freakin awesome Ramen Masters + other chefs, was truly a moment I will definitely never forget. I'll let these photos speak for themselves.
My honest preconception of Hawaii prior to this trip: Disneyland for adults, and don't forget the lose pants. I was really interested in the food more than anything. Like most places I travel. Fortunately, I was inspired by the help of some local bloggers and native friends who reside there, with my curiosity of these islands far away from the mainland. What was the fascination about this place? Yes, Hawai'i is as American as you can get, but not really. It provides the American 'large size' food offerings + the starbucks at every other corner. However, once you look around and absorb yourself with the people, the culture, the air, you begin to understand what it's really about. You literally have to just drop your bags, put on your sunny's, look up, and breathe. Breathe until you feel can taste the air.
I'm all about grilling, bbq, the smell and taste of smokey meats. So when you're not able to grill outside yourself, why not go to a spot where they grill and serve it for you?
We found a spot.
Salt and Charcoal that just opened up in Williamsburg, and it's all about 2 things. The Japanese sea salt and their special charcoal, both imported from Japan.
Feelings come from all different places.
Food can fulfill your feeling of hunger…it could heal the feeling of sadness…it could even provide feelings of bliss.
Food to me is all of those combined. When I correlate 'my feelings' with food, I associate it with different moments…different memories. When I seek comfort, good food always entertains me.
So when I travel to different cities and I spot that one 'to-die-for' Chinese dumplings, or that one Thai dish that I never knew existed, its a pretty great feeling. Really. I'm sure most of you guys can relate, or you have your list of favorite foods.
You know when you try a type of food for the first time, and it’s so good there’s so much involved? Not just the texture, or the color, or the size. It becomes emotional. It becomes a memory that will stay on the tip of your tongue. Probably for a really long time.
That’s what happened here. At Cannes, France. The local strawberries…yeah, I could just start and finish with this. Everyday.
I just got back from Cannes (located in the French Riviera) a few weeks ago, had a great opportunity to attend the Cannes Film Festival as a guest. Checking this off my bucket list now! The city, the beaches, the food, the shopping...just not enough time to see and do everything really. Oh, and I over packed. Just a little. My wardrobe was ambitious, because you just never know how many outfits a lady would need per day due to the weather right? I mean it's Cannes! Uh, hopefully I’m not the only one that thought this way.