My adventures on Phi Phi Island have come to an end. It was incredible, and I grew a whole inch during the last four months. I experienced working with an incredibly talented kitchen team and enjoyed many good laughs and, foremost, the world-famous Thai hospitality. The few ugly moments with HR are soon forgotten, and I am filled with many new ideas and recipes. First, I have made new friends, possibly for life.
Would I do it again? Heck, yes! I am looking to find a new job and certainly in the Asian world. It was my birthday two days ago, and I celebrated it at a farewell party with my loyal staff. They gave me a watch I now proudly wear.
If you ever travel to the south of Thailand, hop on a ferry or rent a speed boat and come to Laem Muang Beach, where Zeavola is located. You will find the teachings and “touches” of my cooking and, if lucky, enjoy a moonrise or one of the many colorful sunsets I have come to cherish. It is hard to part from the white sand beaches and the friendly souls that have made my stay here so enjoyable. Thank you all involved!
In a last generous draw, I convinced Richard Quest to visit us this weekend, and hopefully, he will shoot an excellent little plug-in for CNN. One final dagger to the hip from HR: she threatened to cancel my work permit, forcing me to leave Thailand before I received my last salary. Although a return ticket was confirmed in my name, HR now claims that it is untrue. Their quarrel will go on to the end; what for?
Wow, time rushes by and, like the waves of an ocean, carries us on. Back in Los Angeles, I will have to adjust to city life again, find the rhythm of fast life and a different chaos… The excellent and healthy Thai cuisine and the fresh air will be missed. Maybe I should go to Chinatown and buy myself a wok. Although we have all the food available in the city, the fact I purchased live squid and ate it a few hours later has changed my appreciation for fresh seafood forever. (no, not octopus; I respect these intelligent creatures)
I must visit Lou’s memorial and spend a minute with him alone. I still miss him terribly. He would be such a joy to invite for a first dinner back home and talk his head full until dawn.
My friends will be happy when I return to my neighborhood in West Hollywood. Thailand seemed too far away for most – I had a suite for them at any time… My return to Los Angeles may be a short turnaround unless I find new employment in California again soon. A crazy lady Rina Segal arrived on the island yesterday asking for me. She claimed she was from Hong Kong and needed to talk with me about a job in Singapore. I told her I’d be on vacation at the other end of the island for the next three weeks. She said it would be life-changing.
Next week, I will place the Executive Journal (edited) in my blog so you all can read up on the details of my work in Zeavola. Trust me – it will be fun!
Thank you for the many fun letters I received. I will maintain my Chefs blog and update you on my next journey…
New PADI Dive Master student Raphael