WHO AM I YOU ASK?
I am a semi-old fart who loves food and drink, hence my blog!
I’ve traveled extensively in our western hemisphere and have had the benefits of enjoying many types of dishes from the various countries in the Americas. I also benefit from having Chinese heritage (I’m 2nd generation). Some would say that Asian and Latin America would have little in common however people mostly forget that Spain was in the Philippines long before the English were in Hong Kong and the Spaniards introduced much of their staples to Asia and brought back with them many of the Asian flavors which later found its way to the Americas.
So yes, I can comment – significantly – on flavor and mix. I have also worked as a Chef but mostly as a cook. I have intimate knowledge in fast-food-dining and have won multiple awards in that genre in NYC.
Note: Don’t put down fast food joints as I believe it is a perfectly GREAT place to learn about high volume production and quality service, though it is seldom seen nowadays. I would (and have) hire a fast food worker to work at my restaurant ‘cause I know they can handle to load.
I’ve also traveled some of Europe, mostly England. Despite what many would say about food in Britain, I found it to be extremely delicious, but more importantly, the beers and of course the whiskeys.
So my travels have taken me and exposed me to a variety of great meals, and foods I did not think were so good, but each with a unique inspiration which I apply to everything I cook and compare to everything I eat.
WHY THIS BLOG?
I’ve gotten tired of hearing so many people say ‘how great this dish is,’ or ‘that has great food,’ or ‘this is the best steak, ever!’ Half the folks who today comment on food have the taste buds of a donkey (TBDs, you’ll see this often in my blogs). To give you an example, do you remember that commercial wherein a major corporate pizza company was giving a tasting in NY and the people were like “OMG, that’s the best pizza we ever had?” I sat there and almost gagged when I saw the commercial first because their pizza is crud, 2nd, in NY a corporate pizza over Brooklyn style, really? And, 3rd, there was no one at those tables that was born and/or raised in NYC!!!
Then you have the “Trendies (also TBD’s).” Those other folk who because the may eat at a celebrity restaurant or follow the latest food trends, now think themselves foodies or food experts. They’ll spend $50 on a platter that’s actually not worth $20 and get significantly less food and still (regardless of how good it actually was) say it was “fabulous!”
So, I got fed up with the TBD’s and decided to write this and hopefully touch base with sincere people who enjoy food as much as I do but aren’t dumbasses, trendies or TBD’s.
WHERE WILL WE GO?
I am dedicating this blog mostly to Maine. There are many good foods, food products, destinations and beers that are just great. But on the other hand, there are so many places and products that are so crappy but so well reviewed that you have to wonder what was the author thinking?
Initially, I’ll be taking you, bit by bit, from Portland to Bar Harbor and from Boothbay to Augusta. We’ll cover as much as possible from fast-food to the high-end snobbity snob snob (there are plenty in Maine though many are actually very good).
I will also be covering destinations in the U.K., Caribbean and other northeast USA cities. You will be kept abreast of my quest (already rhyming) for a variety of cuisines and genres with my latest being charcuterie and Tapas Bars – to Boston for these as there is no way you’ll find anything even remotely close, in Maine.
Since my travel is self funded we won’t have daily updates or up to the minute blow by blow news however I will provide you with as much info as I can muster.
EXPERIENCE & FOOD KNOWLEDGE
I have worked at several restaurants in various restaurants as cook, chef, assistant manager, store manager, and food and beverage manager at a major all-inclusive Caribbean resort, I’ve also owned and operated a gourmet store, restaurant and bar, and hotel.
My primary cooking experience and techniques include:
My passion for food includes:
Shellfish: Octopus, Clams, Oysters, Lobster, Conch, Crab and Shrimp
Red Meat: Skirt, Flank, Sirloin, Mignon, Oxtail, Tripe, Pork Butt, Fresh Ham, Goat
Fowl: Duck, Goose and Hen (yes, HEN not Chicken)
Some of my favorite restaurants, eateries or food locations:
Won Ton Garden, NY
Old Homestead, NY
The Oyster Bar, NY
The Borough Market, London
Rosie’s, Portland, ME
Kabab Café, Wayne, PA
My favorite beers (I prefer heavy dark beers though I’ll try anything at least once or twice or…):
Alaskan (Brewing Co. any beer)
Sam Adams Triple Bock (no longer available)
For wine and the bubbly, there are just too many to mention. As for the bubbly stuff, as far as I’m concerned, just the mere fact of getting up in the morning or sitting down or for any good or bad reason is reason enough for a glass or 2 or 3 or… – just love the stuff!
Generalizing, Subjectiveness & Objectiveness
I’d like to address the issues of “generalizing,” “subjectiveness” and “objectiveness.”
Let me start with the “General” factor. We usually tend to generalize when we can’t or don’t want to form a specific opinion of something or trying to not get caught on either side of the fence. In some cases generalization is the only was to address an issue or something. Typically, I try to steer towards “generalization” when someone near me or in a circle of conversation is adamant about something as being great or horrible when in fact they have little or no personal knowledge of the topic at hand. I try to submit a generalized over all picture, of why something may be one way or the other, especially as I may not have sufficient knowledge to provide a specific opinion.
Subjectiveness (not in the dictionary, I know, but fun nonetheless and I’m note seeking the Literary Noble Award or any other) as we all know is something we all use, think and apply, multiple times a day for any multiple of reasons. Though we don’t always impart or force others to think or accept ours as the only answer, we nevertheless do so on some level, as with any blog, as with my blog. I am subjective when it comes to egg noodles and dumplings, dry aged steak, single malts, and whether Pepsi is better than Coke (Coke is better! Pepsi bad, Coke, good!). But then I am very subjective on a variety of things however I will do my darndest to keep it to a minimum, though it will be hard, in some cases (see Pepsi vs. Coke, above).
Objectivity, being objective, objectiveness – just about everyone likes to say they have or are. I personally have never heard anyone ever say they are NOT objective unless they are trying sell something, or own and/or operated their own restaurant, etc. Remaining objective is tough and difficult, especially when it entails having a close relationship/friendship with the business owner, chef, product, manager, etc., and one of these fail you and you are stuck between continuing praise or letting the rest of the world know about the down-turn.
Sometimes it is hard communicating to others just how bad (or good) you feel about something while trying simultaneously to remain fair and true. Sometimes it requires 3 100 page volumes to do so, but you only got 30 seconds before your audience gets bored, or angry.
I feel I need to communicate ‘the what’ I believe and/or feel while conveying, in an objective manner, the good, the bad, and quite possibly, the ugly.