“Tell me what you eat, I’ll tell you who you are” – Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
I can cook a 4 course meal using an Easy Bake Oven in 20 minutes. I can make a killer chow mein using a Cup-O-Noodle. Using the left over soup powder from a Cup-O-Noodle, I can make chicken noodle soup just like Mom’s. I can make a mean fried rice with a box of Uncle Ben’s Minute Rice in not 1 minute, but 30 seconds. For dessert, I can make a decadent chocolate souffle using a box of Duncan Hines Brownie Mix. And for entertainment, I can woo women with an ukulele.
I’m a pharmacist by day, die hard foodie by night. I grew up with a passion for food and cooking, and always wanted to attend culinary school. While the majority of my classmates were busy researching into the UC school systems, Ivy League schools, and private colleges, I was busy looking at the numerous culinary schools around the Nation, and what each program had to offer. I, too, did my research like any high school student looking to get out of high school fast. When my parents were asking me what I was going to do with my life, I blurted out culinary school. Kind of like when the boy, Ralphie, blurted out that he wanted an “official Red Ryder BB gun”for Christmas from the movie, “A Christmas Story.” My parents immediately said no, and said to attend a traditional four-year college and get into medical school.
Like an obedient Chinese daughter, I did what they asked. See, I am a first generation American-born Chinese whose parents had high aspirations that were put upon myself and my brother. You’ve probably heard or read this same story a million times. The majority of my family, including my parents, never went further than high school. Their goal was to immigrate to the US. And to make it in the US, my parents did what their parents did in China and South Korea, and that was to own a restaurant and cook. I grew up in the back of the restaurant with my brother. We played, we watched TV, we studied, we played video games in the sitting area of the restaurant kitchen while my parents worked. I watched my parents slave over the wok just to give us what they didn’t have. And one thing they always reminded us of as we were growing up was to never be in the restaurant business. Unfortunately, I still agree with them now as they are in their 28th year of owning a mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant.
So I couldn’t disappoint them, and went to a four year college and got a bachelors in science, and pursued pharmacy school instead. My parents were very, very proud of me when I graduated from pharmacy school… I saved them face. I am the only member of my family, immediate and extended, who holds a doctorate degree. If I couldn’t be a professional chef, then I was certainly going to become a doctor!
Besides, being a pharmacist is sort of like being a chef, right?… I mean, instead of food ingredients to mix, I have drugs to mix. Haha, that was lame. Sorry. While in pharmacy school, my friends and I explored the ins and outs of all the foods each neighborhood in SF had to offer. Twenty pounds later, I fell madly in love with food. In fact, it became an obscene, unhealthy – or healthy, depending on how you look at it – obsession with food.
There are still some instances when I wish I could have pursued a culinary career. I know it’s not too late, that I could still do it now if I wanted to. But I feel that my obligations now are to continue be successful at what I do, care for my parents and grandmother who require some medical attention as they get older, and enjoying what I have now. I do spend every chance I get in my kitchen. So here I am, joining the foodies’ blogger revolution to document my infatuation with food (i.e., recipes, reviews, food adventures, etc). This blog may be no different from the next; however, I hope that this will inspire you to love food just as much as I do. I hope you will enjoy this blog, and would love any comments, questions, and/or suggestions.
Before I start blogging, I have one question for you to ponder… do you live to eat, or eat to live?