The 2014 Austin Food and Wine Festival brought a delightful and very entertaining guest, Chef Ming Tsai. I've started watching Ming on East Meets West when I was still a kid. Meeting Ming wasn't a crazy adrenaline thrill; it was more like meeting my one of my people. Speaking of my people, there is a celebration of Asian food on May 17th, 2014. I probably mentioned it a few times before. Here it is again. Austin is finally growing an ethnic food scene. Some of the people leading the charge of introducing ethnic cuisine to Austinites are Ramen Tatsuya, Rene Ortiz, Jae Kim, and Paul Qui.
If you read my blog, you might already be familiar with ethnic cuisine.
However, the majority of Austin is not. There are still plenty of people
who think that if soy sauce was in the recipe, it is Asian. There are
still people in Austin who are still unaware of edamame or Thailand and Taiwan
are two different cultures and countries. Unless you're Asian, you
probably haven't had to explain why you would eat cow tongue or have to explain
"dim sum" as Asian tapas. Anyways, check it out -
May 17th, 2014 from 10
am to 4 pm at the Asian American Resource Center.
Back to Chef Ming, here's some tidbits about on why he's like my brother from
another mother. I also crowd sourced a few questions prior to interviewing
Ming, to be answered below.
1. Ming played squash professionally. He also played ping pong at the
Kim Crawford tent at the festival. Video of him playing ping-pong while
wearing my Google Glass below.
2. He plans ahead. His advice for people who have painful repercussions
including death from food allergies
is to call ahead to restaurants. Call
a day in advance at least and ask about the accommodations they can make for
food allergies. If they act like they are bothered with your allergies,
move on. Anaphylaxis shock isn't worth it. There are other
restaurants out there who will be happy to make sure that you can enjoy a meal
without a trip to the emergency room.
Long-time buddies, Kent Rathburn
3. A friend inquired about his favorite dim sum. The answer should have been
obvious: Din Tai Fung. There's
only a few locations in the USA. I'm certainly going to check them out the
next time I'm in Seattle or LA.
4. And he drinks Texas beer. He's holding the
Austin Beer Works
5. Another person asked what to substitute for peanut allergies. Ming
said, "Just leave it out to be completely safe. Many dishes are
delicious without it!" Or, he said you could
start using seeds in place of nuts. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and
seeds are a perfect substitute for peanuts. You might event use those
wasabi peas to get a spicy crunch in dishes. I added that line. If
it isn't a good swap, you can blame me.
Pictured with Tim Love.
6. And his favorite soy sauce? He told me it was on the his website.
Wan Jan Shan, of
7. Ming taught us a trick for getting food off the side of your food
processor - lean it from side to side while it is on. No more stopping
your food processor to scrap down the sides. Just lean to the left. To the
right. To the left. To the right.
8. And just for fun, here's a cocktail recipe using TY KU, a gluten free sake.
If you're gluten free, this is an endorsed choice for you. The Asian
Mojito: 2 oz TY KU Sake Silver, Fresh Mint, and Squeeze of Lemon/Orange.
There are many other recipes
available for your imbibing pleasure.