Archives for posts with tag: Anthony Bourdain

(new here? read this first.)

Chef Daniel here.

I love food.  I will eat anything. Absolutely anything. Except duck. That’s another post. I’m envious of Anthony Bourdain. What a job – travel and food. Yum.

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t. From time to time, I think about it. The list is something like this – what I’m doing now, photo journalist, think tank-er, rich person with lots of free time, and chef.

I really love food. I love cooking. I love preparing, chopping, sauteing, marinating, grilling, and so on. I enjoy creating food experiences for people. It’s incredibly relaxing and a great creative outlet. I often think about winning the lottery and enrolling in Le Cordon Bleu. It sounds idyllic. And then I could hang out with Gordon Ramsay.

Perhaps the greatest food experience I’ve ever had was on a trip to Singapore with my dear friend Despi. Singapore eating represents a complete fusion of global cuisine. Wow. I ate things I had never heard of, seen or tasted. There were moments where I had my doubts. Things looked scary. And some things I wasn’t sure how to eat. But it was all incredibly delicious. Unforgettable. And yes, I drank a Singapore Sling.

Travel provides that authentic food experience. Which is a reason I love traveling so much – experimenting with local cuisine. One of my goals is to keep embracing these food opportunities so that I can bring them home with me. They can shape my food prep techniques. Travel can be my cooking school. I need to get going on that.

If any of you come across any new media, photo journalist, think tank, chef/travel opportunities that would make me extremely wealthy with an abundance of free time, please let me know. I’ll give you a cut of the action. I’ll even cook for you. But not duck.


Singapore grub

I’m Casey and my husband Cody once took me to this place in Rochester, New York called Nick Tahou’s Hots, Famous for the Garbage Plate. We had been married less than a year and aside from our honeymoon (which sucked-DO OVER!) this was our first vacation together and we ended up eating something called “garbage plates.”

Cody wonders why when I request a vacation I also request it involve fruity drinks with umbrellas and food that does not originate from a garbage bag.

What bothers me most is that Nick Tahou’s met every standard I have for the *perfect* hole in the wall restaurant, busy at all hours of the day, questionable appearance inside and out, salty employees and a crazy variety of customers preferably containing the elderly, college kids and some cops. The presence of local cops (or firefighters) at a hole in the wall is better better than a Zagat rating for me.

Dude, they even serve garbage plates at the New York State fair.


Alas, I hated it. I ate maybe three bites and was done despite the old school lunch benches, the stooped over couple in the booth next to us, the employee that barked at me in a thick NYC accent when I dared use all the syllables in the word “hamburger.” (Hint, at Nick’s it’s “hamburg.”) Even the cops hollering at each other from outside couldn’t win this place over for me.

I’m still pretty ticked about it. Mostly because a brilliant theory I came up with that is always! true, isn’t always true. It’s almost always true. I hate almost always, it’s risky. Babies? Babies are almost always cute, face it, there’s a chance you could end up with a dud, admit it, they’re out there. Politicians are almost always liars. Really screws up the whole benefit of the doubt for the honest ones. Traffic is almost always good on West 70 after 9 am. Except for when it’s not and you get stuck in traffic for several hours.

Don’t tell Cody, but I want to go back. I want to give it a second shot. Maybe my tastebuds are dulled after eight years and just maybe loads of questionable food piled on top of each other, smothered in sauce, topped with hots and hamburgs and served with bread out of a garbage bag is delicious. It has to be.

I am almost always right about these things.

(new here? read this first.)

Hi I’m Daniel. Nice to meet you.

I love traveling. I’ve already mentioned it in this post, and this one, and this one. And this blog is still a baby!

I am terribly happy traveling. I am most comfortable in foreign lands. I would visit anywhere. I like weird food, people yelling at me in languages I don’t understand, different currency, new cultures, and the exhaustion that comes from exploring. I’m envious of Anthony Bourdain. I love to travel, and I always request a window seat.

I daydream on planes. I think about life. I don’t talk to the person next to me. I sometimes play video games. I rarely sleep. I listen to music. A lot. But 99% of the time, I’m looking out the window. I guess, I read sometimes, but you get the idea.

I look at clouds. I try to understand what they’re interpreting. Most of the time they just look like Smurfs. Papa Smurf. Handy Smurf. Vanity Smurf. Rarely Smurfette. It passes the time and lets me think.

I listen for the ‘ding’ after take off for the 10,000 feet indication. That’s when I can listen to music. I feel a part of the plane as it glides 6 miles in the air. I look down on the landscape and imagine the life down there. The scenery always reminds me of paintings. I always have my camera in my hand or have it nearby in the gross seat back pouch thing. I snap away the entire flight looking for something that strikes my fancy. People give me weird looks. I don’t mind. I also love that everyone is a stranger when you travel.

Occasionally, you encounter such beauty, that it stops all thinking. You gaze out the window, mouth agape, looking at one of the most beautiful scenes you’ve ever seen. In this moment, with this image, I felt like I was at the Louvre. Not on a United Airlines regional jet from Chicago. I love discovering beauty found in exploring. And I love to travel, with a camera.

(‘window seat please’ is a reference to a Flickr group I joined a couple of years ago – check it out, here)

window seat please

window seat please

Hey, it’s Casey, and when we started this? I had no idea I was going to talking about death so much. Seriously. Death death, death and now death again.

My aunt died this week. Well, her body died but her very much alive spirit went to heaven. Because for people like her? The only way to go is up.

She spent 48 years as a quadripeligic. She’s now spent four days in heaven. With a perfectly restored body, that can do everything her earthly body couldn’t manage. She used to tell me about this dream she constantly had about running behind a pickup truck through a wheat field. I wonder if there are wheat fields in heaven?

I like to think about what she’s doing up there. If she’s just flopping her legs around at the edge of a pool because she can or if she’s attempting Olympic cloud jumps. I wonder if it makes any difference to her at all. She never really much minded that she couldn’t walk while she was here on Earth, I mean, she got to where she needed to go and if she needed anything it could easily be brought to her.

But still, I wonder what heaven is like. I mean, I know it can’t just be people swathed in gauzy robes playing harps all day. And I can promise you it’s an even better place now that my Aunt Cheryl is there. I’m pretty sure she’s the funniest person in Heaven. I guess when I think about heaven it must feel like all those tiny little magical moments that occur day to day just smooshed together into one eternal day.

My aunt would say that she got hurt because she wasn’t listening. So God sat her down and made her listen.

And she spent every day doing just that. And when I think about it? A lot of my “this is what heaven must be like” moments? Happened when I was with her.


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