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Hong Kong, Shanghai, amazing food, great people, another soul-enriching experience!!

May 20, 2010

I just landed in the San Francisco airport from Hong Kong.  I am waiting for my final leg home to Los Angeles. What a challenge to try to summarize for you the most amazing 8-day culinary journey! Ken (my great friend) and me ate our way through Hong Kong and China while laughing, meeting great people and embracing a totally new culture. I am so excited to be able to understand the word “China” with so much familiarity now. Like everywhere in the world the people are great when you are great to them. I cooked and met with the most dynamic chefs from our $1.50 lunch of Malatang (soup made to order from the ingredients you choose) on the street (literally) to Chef Chen who runs an 800 seat restaurant and taught me how to make the famous soup filled buns (xiaolongbao and shengjian) to my cooking class with Chef Cecilia Au-Yang where I learned to make dim sum and the secrets of great stir-fry.

As much as I missed my wife and kids Ken was the perfect travel partner. He is passionate about food and life and the greatest friend someone can ask for. We ate practically non-stop all day long. I would have driven Nadia and the kids crazy! When we weren’t eating we were talking to someone about food or immersing our selves in the “wet” markets (fish, meat, produce) or dry markets (If it can be found in water or on land it is available dried in bulk). I could not take it in fast enough. Chinese food is so dynamic. I had the best version of the classics that I have had in Chinese restaurants like BBQ pork (char siu), noodle dishes, and perfectly cooked full flavored chicken. I also experienced flavors and textures that I had never tried before from the unique texture of the salt-preserved “1000-year egg”, the spongy textured and incredibly tasty fish maw (the gas chamber of a fish that allows it to swim upright) to chicken feet and fish heads. Just when I thought flour had exhausted its amazing self in the world of breads and pastas I experienced a whole new world of flour made delights (buns, dumplings, and numerous wrappers). Like every country I have been to you can eat in the restaurants at home and experience food from around the world but it is never the same as going to the source. When you understand the heart and soul of a place and its people you understand the food in a totally different way. Watch for future blogs as I share specific experiences with delicious details along with pictures and videos. Until then I hope you are eating well and enjoying life! I can’t wait to kiss my wife and kids!

Eat well, Enjoy life, Be happy

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