Fall rewards us with the harvests of the year. What one has seeded in spring shows its result now. I strongly believe in this philosophy applied to life in general. My journey has brought me to this part of the world for many wonderful and fascinating reasons. October is a month I preferred as a child, but growing older, it has, ,shown to be the most challenging time of the year. And so, it is not different this season.
Moving all my belongings to Singapore is still in the make. The contracted overseas transportation company, Omega Shipping in Florida, is playing a cruel game with my new employer. First, they quoted me US$ 4000 for a twenty-foot container, and now, after picking up my possessions, they’re charging us US$ 9000. I recommend you stay away from them! I talked with the owner, Mark, the day I had arranged my entire home to be transported to South East Asia, and he warned me about the unworthy competition; how someone like me could easily be taken advantage of…
Project Q, my new culinary challenge, is coming along. Although we are still recruiting staff and hence postponing staff training, the excitement is running high. Opening day has now been set for December 10th. Chef Andrew Jacka www.horwathspa.com, my mentor in creating this start-up menu, has shown great patience. In the meantime I am submitting myself to self-schooling and midnight hours on the computer, writing formulas and studying like in my teens. My respect for traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has grown. These are the challenging ingredients of my new venture into culinary exposés. I am inhaling books of antique knowledge and fascinating repertoires of powerful natural healing agents, easily churned on by my fascination for history. Within am, I was involved with the creation of recipes that included unusual elements and sometimes even strange ingredients. Often, I find myself in a situation similar to Monks of the past, experimenting in closed-away laboratories, discovering concoctions and amalgamations of which most taste awkward and unpleasant. After six weeks, the results are fascinating, and securely, my new kitchen staff can adapt these new formulas.
But my real challenge is a contemporary devil, a familiar fear inflicted by the knowledge of modernity, or is it not the lack of knowledge that is the cause of all subliminal angsts in today’s society? I finalized a menu selection and struggled to comprehend the many inputs about what “healthy food” represents. The more I hear about calorie charts and fat calculations, the further I want to run away! The people who seriously need to summon their nutrition intake in a restaurant are an annoying few.
Even if I follow dubious diagrams for every percentage of fat and calories on a menu item, such a result would be based upon an estimated chart created by a Federal Food Administration sponsoring Government laboratories or even worth some health guru with little scientific background. In twenty years, the internet will be filled with confusing ideas and suggestions by people who are utterly revoked from science…
Such charts never embrace the reality that a carrot or a potato grown in the salty soil of Singapore impossibly could compare to a root or knob cultivated in the heart of France or the mineral-rich lava grounds of middle America. A chicken grown in an enclosed cage certainly does not have the same nutritious value as a hen raised on a farm in Italy. Most tropical fruits are picked “green” to ripen in gas-infused containers on their transport to the stores that sell them in their “natural colors” and are never given a chance to develop nutrition or flavor-bouquet fully. Today’s consumer believes in gaining “health” by consuming such fictitious constructed foods. Have you ever seen any label on a pineapple or that pretty-looking pear that tells you the process of genetic manipulations that make it appear bright yellow? Instead, we read labels on Diet Coke, coaxed to ignore that the artificial sugar added is much worse than the diet it falsely promotes. Have you ever wondered what the wax does to your system after consuming the “keep the doctor away” apples daily? This should be the consumer’s urgent concern. In actuality, the majority of patrons (even those with a weight issue) do not want to eat in an environment that medically lists the technical ingredients of their devoured meal. Health consciousness has become fashionable nonsense to endorse consumer activity, and well-being has little to do with it. “Healthy eating” is bribed by the very value of time wasted on chewing and enjoying food in good company as if we finally need to be convinced to inject all nutrition directly into our systems and spare our teeth from grinding vegetables and our bosses from missing us on the office desk.
Our restaurant shall be a tranquil rest-stop whilst hectic chasing after fame and fortune – an instant rescue, peace, for the mind and the body. Meditative.
In our restaurant, www.redwhitepure.com (active October 16/06), the world is ordinary again. The food is basic, clear, and honest, with an introduction of TCM to show that we live in union with the power of nature. One may find a moment to inform about the wise old knowledge that advocates that all problems on earth are equally presented with a fair solution. So, let’s not confront guests with calories, glycosides, and polyunsaturated estimates…
Loyal guests come to us trusting that we serve promised quality, guarantee ambiance and an inside-out healthy atmosphere, and, foremost, use products and produce that have been spared from generic manipulations.
I have created all menus to be prepared with sensitivity to today’s nutritional needs, cutting out ingredients known to be sluggish in the digestive system and reducing the sugar and salt intake by more than 200% compared to a classical French restaurant. I still uphold the luscious pleasure of the Gourmet tongue and gum and let the many flavors dance their prelude to the mind. As the study of TCM has endured human trials of 1600 years, I, too, rely on the experience of past great chefs and their clients. To achieve succulent results, I’ve applied my secret little twists and tricks to entice a culinary delight. I refuse to forfeit chocolate and cream to an only hale and hearty menu experience; we also eat for the soul. The old Chinese herbalist knew well about the magic of the mind that, first, leads a body to cure worldly pains. Even today, you will find the sweet choices to cure broken hearts in TCM stores, and they knew 1000 years back that the sweet licorice root distracts a kid from the scratch on his knee. Besides that, chocolate boosts the immune system, calms fever, prevents the flu, and simply puts a smile on many faces; it even soothes the one giving it as a present.
Over many generations, we have adjusted to too much sugar, artificial flavors, and fat. Now, natural ingredients don’t taste “customary”. My challenge is re-introducing pure products without diminishing the “soul factor” and guaranteeing joyous eating. I still use all the familiar mouth-watering flavors but in moderation. My adaptations of healthy substitutes are so secondary they will fool a sophisticated eater.
This is the right moment to extend a Thank You to my bosses for supporting my choices in organic farmers and letting me pick only the outstanding quality ingredients available. Within, I am working for a truly unique company supporting the sensible understanding that we are the result of what we put in our bodies. I have chosen for you from the purest of what is available!
Back to work, I need to find a few more chefs to join the new brigade.