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International Flavors, Being a Personal Chef, Why We Love What We Do

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

How timely these things happened to us.

4 womens shoulder to shoulder with kickboxing gear, smiling
Women of Muay Thai of Colorado, Denver, Colorado

A while ago, one of my friends, Rosy, from Muay Thai of Colorado, and I got into food after the workout. She showed me photos of what she had been making, rooted in indigenous food. I had just purchased a book called "The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley" when she told me about her food, so when she asked me how to make "Tako-Yaki," I said, "Teach me your food, I'll show you mine." After texting back and forth to make a plan for our mini "dinner-sharing" event, she came to our house full of grocery food in bags. While she was preparing the food, we talked about something very light to somewhat personal, and we also had a deep conversation about her culture and mine. We had a great time together and promised to exchange recipes and make food again. She made Pan Seared Butter Basting Chicken Thigh with Roasted Veggies, Hominy and Navy Beans, and Raspberry Compote and Wild Rice. It was an earthy, hearty, and well-balanced delicious dish. For her request, I made "Tako-Yaki." (Tako means octopus, and Yaki means "cooked over direct heat," either grilled, broiled, or pan-fried in Japanese.) It's a Japanese street food originally from my hometown, Osaka, that is a bite-size round ball made with savory butter and octopus.


Chef Aric also made (my favorite) Creme Bluree for our dessert. It's a very familiar dessert to Mexican and Japanese heritages, but it's different. Flan is a well-known dessert in Mexico, and "Purin" (Japanese Pudding) is in Japan. Flan and Pudding are very similar, except people use condensed or evaporated milk in Mexico. In contrast, milk is the main ingredient in Japan, and Purin is lighter and less sweet than Flan or Crume Brulee. Crume Bluree is a French dessert, and they would use cream instead of milk and caramelized sugar on top of it.

 

Celebrating Diversity through International Tapas: We recently had a birthday party, and our client wanted us to create an International Tapas theme. We provided 16 tapas with a birthday cake of request from the client, "Orange Chiffon Cake." When they asked us about the dinner, Chef Aric said, "Why don't we make it more colorful since it's June."

We try to feature a specific cultural theme each month. From honoring Mexican Heritage Month with delectable tacos to celebrating Japanese American, Pacific Islanders, and Hawaiian Heritage Month with Ramen, we have used food to show our respect for diverse traditions. As June marks Pride Month, we embraced the opportunity to infuse the tapas with vibrant rainbow colors, symbolizing love, acceptance, and inclusion.

Colorful red cabbage salad with grapefruit, orange, fresno peppers, and scallions, sesame seeds as garnish in a glass salad bowl
Rainbow colored Citrus & Cabbage Salad with Fresno peppers

Chef Aric made each tapas with vibrant, rainbow colors in his mind, using natural colors of its food without any food coloring. He carefully designed each tapas dish to reflect the cultural richness of countries from the USA and Japan to Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Middle East. Chef Aric and I served Al Pastor Kebabs with Pineapple, Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancakes), Za' atar Beef, Shrimp Cakes, Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Sauce, Citrus & Cabbage Salad, Mahi Mahi with Mixed Berry Salsa, Scallops with Edamame Puree, Peruvian Potatoes with Scallions, Tabouleh and more...What a fun way to create food like this, celebrate a birthday, enjoy delicious food, and embark on a virtual journey, celebrating different cultures with each bite.



 

Appreciating History and Juneteenth And yesterday, We watched a fantastic movie called "Hidden Figures" (we've watched it several times, and we love it.), honoring our respect towards the remarkable contributions of black American women who reshaped American history. Chef Aric and I commemorated "Juneteenth," which has been celebrated for a long time and recently gained recognition as the latest federal holiday. Chef Aric prepared a soulful dinner with Braised Oxtail with Black Pepper Gravy, Collard Greens with Housemade Bacon, and Red Beans and Rice with Andouille to honor this momentous day. By savoring these dishes, we paid tribute to the resilience and triumph over adversity.


Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage in a mini All-Clud pot, with black tablecloth back ground
Red Beans and Rice with Andouille by Chef Aric

Collard Green with Homemade Bacon in a mini all-clud pot, with black tablecloth background
Collard Green with Homemade Bacon by Chef Aric

Braised Oxtail with Black Pepper Gravy & Scallions in a mini all-clud pot, with black tablecloth background
Braised Oxtail with Black Pepper Gravy & Scallions by Chef Aric

From the top left; Red Beans and Rice with Andouille, Braised Oxtail, and Collard Green with Bacon. A photo represents celebration of freedom, Juneteenth.
Celebration of Freedom, Juneteenth Photo by Yukari

 

Do you know why we love calling ourselves personal chefs, specializing in "International" or "Global" cuisine? It highlights the power of cultural exchange and unity in a shared love for food. We believe that food transcends borders and eradicates racism and sexism in food. It reminds us that food has the power to unite people from all walks of life when we season it with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of love. By embracing diverse flavors and traditions, we can foster unity, understanding, and appreciation for one another. Join us on this remarkable journey, where culinary delights and heartfelt conversations intertwine, celebrating the beauty of our global community.


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