11月 26, 2007


It's been really fun!! How so? I'm sure I"ll have more to tell when I have more time writing :) I've been busying with school lately--you know, approaching towards the end of the semester is the busiest time for students, and there's no exception in chef school :P That said, I still find time to make a few dishes and bread.

Yup! Bread! I baked some really good ones recently, including a Cranberry, Raisin, Pecan Celebration Bread, and a Wild Mushroom Ciabatta. Both of them are awesome!

Next week is going to be exams for the whole week, and as soon as I'm done cooking on Friday at 12 noon, I need to catch a flight flying out at 2 p.m. going back to Hong Kong. Hopefully I'll be able to make it.

Will I be able to continue my studies next semester? I don't know... sometimes life is full of difficult decisions.


My first soft roll

Finally I made my own soft roll!

It took more work than I thought, but it's pretty fun. The recipe, again, wasn't that impressive. The rolls were very simple with basic ingredients: bread flour, fresh yeast, eggs, sugar, salt, milk powder and vegetable oil.

I'll go check out St. Lawrence Market as my friend told me that the store called "Rube's" has all the baking ingredients I need.


I think I started to like German wine, even more than France and Italy. I changed my impression to riesling once I tried it yesterday during the wine tasting class. Surprisingly, their pinot noir isn't bad as well. If I had the money, I would stock up on Konigschaffhausen Steingrübler 2005. On nose it's earthy, smoky, cheesy (well, kind of a typical pinot noir, but on the good end). On palate it has nice finish, full body, and well balanced. A subtle of spiciness is added too... Good to pair with pork, veal, grilled salmon, or alike. Chill it before serving for a refreshing taste.

Unfortunately German wine is kind of confusing since they don't have a "region" per se, and the wines are recognized by the town name... the problem is, it's difficult to remember all those names in German...


Will have an interview in a kitchen of a huge organic grocery store this coming Wednesday. I'm sure I won't get the job since I'll be out of the country for three weeks next month, but it's good to gain some experience. I'll be tested on knife skills... I'm getting my book out and remember all those vegetable cuts :)


11月 25, 2007

I can't believe it...

I was talking to some strangers on the phone in Mandarin--for over an hour...

And they actually understood (at least appeared to be :) what I was talking about!


11月 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sassy!

Since Sassy's document is lost, her new owner is naming tomorrow 11/22 to be Sassy's birthday :) She'll soon turn 5 in a couple of hours!

I'm missing you, Sassy!

(Picture courtesy of Eric)



I knew he's not going to contribute anything. Last night when we're chatting on MSN he said "yeah, don't worry, I'll handle the presentation part blah blah blah" and then this morning, he said, "oh, actually I was joking last night"..... but somehow we made him to do most of the talking. I haven't paid attention to what he said, since I was busy cutting the meat and plating them. But apparently others' reaction was really bad... and I'm sure he doesn't know what he's talking about.

I'm happy that we have that peer evaluation for the project!

Oh well, I didn't do much too, but at least I have a better attitude...

Did I?

I shouldn't have joined his group from day 1. I shouldn't think he's dependable by the way he's pretending to be a good participant in the class...

"A barking dog won't bite."

Sigh... I think I learned something.


11月 20, 2007

Just don't pretend to be smart

And we'll do fine in the presentation... and don't put your cranberry syrup'ed hand on the chef's white and think that it's funny.

And don't steal my spoon dude!


Awesome Apple

Guess what? I called Apple help line yesterday afternoon and by the time I get back home the package is sitting here waiting for me! That's an awesome experience, isn't it?

There is no Apple store in my area, unfortunately. But back then when I went to one of their stores in the states requesting service on my laptop, it's like getting into a coffee shop chatting with friends (which in this case, their rep).

I thought only Amazon has this level of customer service, but looks like Apple is doing just as good :)


Went to Soup Market, located in the Ernst & Young Tower/TD Tower, and got a pretty good soup with bean, pasta, meat, tomatoes and vegetables. It's not cheap--a large size (16oz) with a roll cost $8 something after tax. But the quality is really great: it has the right amount of spice and full of flavor. The melted cheese bring extra aroma and texture. It's indeed a very good and hearty meal. No wonder it has a very long line at a small corner of the food court. Their roll is a bit on the rough side... I'm sure they can do better than that.

Another restaurant in the same food court that has a even longer line is a place that sells gourmet burrito. I'll probably try it out next time.


11月 19, 2007

cracked open

I heard bad things about the battery of MacBook Pro, but I can't imagine it can be this bad... yesterday I found out that the battery case suddenly cracked open!! Not to mention the computer dies down all of a sudden while the battery is still 94% full... Searching on Apple's website, it seems like a lot of people are having the same problem around this time...

Good though their customer service is pretty good, since they'll send me a new battery for free--hopefully it's not one of those from the same problematic batch...


11月 18, 2007


Finally the essay for the wines basics class is done after working till 2am last night and finishing it off this morning before the class. At the end I chose the Rhône Valley region, since it has a lot of varieties (which means plenty of information). Of course, most of my stuff is a result of copying and editing from various websites.

Too bad I didn't take the class before my European trip earlier this year, if I did I will definitely spend more time on the wine regions :)


Had a brunch with a friend I met in Seattle yesterday morning, and we had it in the Gladstone Hotel that is located in the art and design district in downtown Toronto. I had an Eggs Benedict, which is OK :) You can't go wrong with eggs, ham and muffin anyway :P The Hollandaise sauce was pretty good though.

I chose to walk to the hotel, since it's just 45 minutes away from where I live, on foot. I'm glad I did. It's been a long time I last walked on Queen St West. It's an awesome community with all sorts of funky stores!

Met this guy on the way when I went back home... Good that he's at least doing something to earn a living. Another one I met whom I didn't get a picture of, was holding a card saying, "Will take verbal abuse for change"...


11月 16, 2007

Getting hungry after the show

Just came back from the food and wine show.. it's not as good as I thought. There were way too much wine then "gourmet food", and they're not cheap too. I spent all my money on drinks.... and get my dinner from free samples :( What a poor starving student I am....

The best part of the show is the Food Network Canada Stage, which has demonstrations from different chefs and a FREE tasting at the end of each show. The knife skill of Daisuke Izutsu was entertaining--he cut a carrot paper thin and then julienne it!

Argh, I'm so hungry now, and yet I have to read books about wine to get started on the assignment for the Wine Tasting class--I have to find a French wine region I like the most and talk about it. I was thinking... what? I can't even taste which wine is which?! How do I know which region I like the most? Besides, every region tastes differently every year right? And not to mention there are so many wineries....



Wondering how my house looks like now? Thanks to Facebook I found this recent picture :-)


11月 15, 2007

One month left for the semester

Actually, less than that.

I can't believe the end of the semester is almost here. It's this time of the year that comes tests, assignments, and presentations... School work has been keeping me busy, not to mention that I need to work on the extra classes too. I'll have to have a presentation for the Italian class due in two weeks--all in italiano! I can pick any topic though, so probably I'll teach the class how to make risotto (apparently though, there are a lot of good cooks in the class).

Finally I cooked something today. Although it looks a little bit dry and not colorful, it's juicy and tasty.


11月 14, 2007

Food and Wine

There's a huge food and wine show this weekend in Toronto's Convention Centre showcasing 1200 fine wines and lots of gourmet food. Thanks to a classmate from the Wine Tasting class I got a free ticket--although i still need to purchase "sampling tickets" as a currency to buy food and wine in the event. I'm so looking forward to meeting some great chefs, if it is at all possible. There are two chefs I want to meet in particular: Tafik Shawtra from Vertical Restaurant, and Daisuke Izutsu from Kaiseki-Sakura.

Talking about wine, I totally screwed up the blind tasting test in the previous wine tasting class. My nose and palates are still blind folded and can't tell Cab vs. Merlot, or Chardonnay vs. Riesling... I guess I'll have to do more tasting, and pay more attention on it.

Haven't been updating my food blog for over a month... I'll have to get something cooking tomorrow :P


11月 13, 2007

敬啟者, 您好

很久沒有人用「敬啟者, 您好」來寫信給我了,有點陌生的感覺 :)


11月 10, 2007

Deconstructing bread

Have been reading The Bread Baker's Apprentice for some time. I haven't tried out the recipes yet, but looks like the formulae are pretty time consuming--imagine spending 2 days on an Italian bread!

That said, I'll try to make some just to explore...

Making Tuscan bread seems to be good too :)


11月 07, 2007


No wonder it's so chilly in Toronto! Thanks to my friend who reminded me that it's this time of the year again. More important, it's a good reason to have good food again! 羊肉爐 is a good idea!


I'm having some thoughts and trying to picture what the future "business" would be like... hopefully it'd work out good. That said, I'm looking for jobs everywhere--from Asia to Toronto :-)

One thing I noticed though, two out of two hotel chains i looked into are hiring pastry chef!

But I wouldn't like to work in hotel chains... I need some exposure to learn how to run a successful small cap restaurant, which should be more useful than locking myself in a well equipped world-class kitchen.


I'm still reading books about how to make the best possible home-made bread. Looks like the process is more scientific than I thought.

Never underestimate the power of humbling thyself in front of the ingenious plain bread that started feeding human more than 10,000 years ago...


11月 06, 2007

It's been a long time

Since I last touched my resume.

After all these years, starting from scratch isn't as simple as I thought :-)

I heard the job market is bad--long hour and very low pay. But I'm sure it's just a transition--and hopefully it's just a transition.


11月 05, 2007

Bake me a wish

I don't know why but I haven't gotten good marks in the baking class (well, although, I'm still around average). I truly don't understand how we are evaluated. I fee like it's kind of arbitrary... Good that I didn't take the baking stream. Don't get me wrong, I do like baking (and in fact, I am going to experiment different kinds of bread at home). Just that consistently getting an average makes me feel like I have no talent on it.


Friends in Seattle said that I look a lot slimmer... which is good news to me. I guess walking fast paced for an hour every day helps a lot!

And I guess I'm a good example that is convincing enough to tell the effects of buttery diet isn't that bad after all :P

(And don't forget that when you add butter to "sweat" vegetables for the soup, you will take out the fat at the end of the cooking process, which leaves the soup 95% fat free!)

Going back to Seattle is like returning to my old school... a place where I spent a significant stage in life.


11月 04, 2007

36 hours

The quick 36-hour trip to Seattle was short and sweet--except that when I went back to the house it feels so foreign... and more important, Sassy has left the house having a new life in CA.