1. With my current job, I have to go, have to taste, have to study every day, but not to stay at a place and imagine everything. Every time I experience a new dish, I’m happy all day.
For example, the 100 days Grain-Fed Flank Steak in Pullman – a 100-day-old Black Angus beef dish (a breed of beef cattle that naturally eats grass and grows early so it can be eaten early) which was very soft and fat, served with baked potatoes covered with greasy cheese – made me really happy. Or cod with a slightly salty miso sauce served with white rice, Nha Trang baby oyster which has a thin shell, and full of meat, served with vinegar sauce or laksa sauce, panna cotta with thyme jam and tomato jam … when we put that in mouth, we looked at each other eagerly, “Surprised! Wond over our expectation”.
When I first walked into the kitchen, Mr. Matthias was busy doing something I could not see clearly, hearing our voices, he grinned “Good evening!” Then he immediately stopped working, washed his hands, wiped his hands clean and then started shaking our hands. I introduced him to my husband, he immediately turned to my husband and said “Hello Mr. Husband! Nice to meet you!”. Through communication, I feel he is a warm and a bit “crazy” person.
I suggested taking photos and asking how he would like to pose. He said, “I don’t like something boring” (with the example that a chef doesn’t have to take photos at the kitchen, if you’re preparing food, just stand like this, like this …). Then he told my husband to stand where he was standing, giving the camera to him to take a test photo for us to see – like “I want the picture to be this style”.
Matthias is a young, agile, creative U50 man who is always proactive in every situation with incredible professional manner. The food he created was also “crazy” that way, so much so that I had to say, “Oh my God, after meeting him, I realize that his dishes suit his personalities so well!” ^ _ ^
2. Trang – my cousin, learned many delicious dishes from her French mother-in-law. I ate her dishes and then imitated to make those dishes. I also learned from my foreign friends. Maybe the dishes we learn from someone who is not a chef are not up to the standards of a restaurant, but at least we will know what kind of spices foreigners use for each dish.
I also often try dishes from authentic chefs like Mr. Matthias, so that I have more rooms to compare and see if my cooking is good or n. I have never dared to cook anything that I haven’t tasted “the original version”. In Saigon, the most popular dishes are French – Italian – Spanish, served in specialized restaurants; or European fusion dishes (combining flavors from different cuisines). Price depends on each place. Delicious dishes with authentic Western tastes will have prices ranging from 400 to 700,000 VND for the main course.
I do not believe that they serve good foods in those “European food for Vietnamese” restaurants. Similarly, in my opinion, if someone asks you to go for “Pho for French” or “Beef noodles for American”, you should not go. If passing by some restaurants hanging “cheap European food” signs, you should also walk over and should not care about them. Anyone who usually cooks European dishes probably knows, imported ingredients and spices for European dishes are basically very expensive. Sometimes even when we buy ingredients and sprices to cook at home, we still feel so expensive, so do not believe that in this country there is “cheap European foods”. Low-quality ingredients or spices cannot make good foods.
3. Too much talking, and now we must come to the conclusion.
“Listening with your ears does not compare to seeing with your eyes.”
“Seeing with your eyes does not compare to touching with your hands.”
“Touching with your hands does not compare to trying.”
The first sentence is an idiom, the two following sentences are what I heard, and I do not know whether they are true, but we keep applying them in reality. Every day, I consider sharing with you about work and life a joy. I write down what I think. It is okay if you think otherwise. We will still meet at some points A, B, or C on the map of friendship, marriage, family, work and life ^ _ ^
The photo on the left is taken for us by Mr. Matthias – Excecutive Chef of Pullman. The photo on the right is taken by my husband. Thinking of this cheft will definitely make us smile!