I am so excited! I was chosen by FoodBuzz to cover the Asian Culinary Forum event/chef panel "Are You What You Cook?" on Monday, July 21, 2008 at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero! What a great opportunity to listen to some of the best Asian chefs around. I decided to bring BanYo as my "date" because he is a culinary student and I think he would benefit A LOT from the forum. I'm couting down the days! =)
I feel so lucky because, first of all, this is my FIRST time doing anything like this, so I am very grateful to be given the opportunity. FoodBuzz is so awesome. Last week, I went on their site and there was a call for SF Bay bloggers to give a reason which of the speakers they would like to hear from and why and this was my response:
"I am most interested in hearing KELLY DEGALA, Executive Chef, Va de Vi. The reason is that he probably was born and raised in the most Asian “melting pot” in the Americas – Hawaii. Being a Filipino, I am incredibly interested in learning about my culture and how immigrants from the Philippines have made their way throughout the United States. I also am intrigued with how the Koreans, Japanese, Chinese and other Asian immigrants have come together with native Hawaiians to create such a wonderful cuisine. These Asian groups worked in the pineapple plantations many years ago and even though they did not know the same language, they communicated through their food. The Japanese mingled with the Filipinos, the Koreans with the Chinese and so on and so on. After World War II, American GI’s couldn’t wait to come home and express how wonderful the Hawaiian paradise was, so pretty soon, rather corny tiki bars opened everywhere and having a luau was the thing to do. Hawaiian cuisine is much more than mai tais and pineapple rings. Hawaii really has something great to offer because the food covers such a wide spectrum of Asian goodness. Kalbi with macaroni salad. Kim chee, SPAM with Japanese noodles. Hamburger patties with gravy and a sunny-side up egg. Hot dogs with passionfruit ketchup. SPAM musubi! Pork ribs in adobo sauce. Red pickled mangos. I am especially excited that this cuisine is hitting the mainland. I am also intrigued with how he can create high-excellence dishes in a background that is so “hang loose” and CHILL. How does he come up with Asian dishes that are of 4-diamond quality? The panel discussion is titled, “Are You What You Cook?” and I am excited to see what Chef Degala is going to say because the citizens of Hawaii today are rich in culture – most of them are of mixed race or “hapa,” so I am hoping he touches upon how the mingling of races and flavors influence his cooking."
Ate Di, My Sweety K, and I all have a soft spot for Hawaii and the culture, so you can say that I was pretty passionate when I wrote that. =)
SO THANK YOU FOODBUZZ for this extraordinary opportunity!
P.S. Happy 1-year-FoodBuzz-Anniversary to me (July 15)!