This is Chef Kawai. One of the best, if not the best in the hotel game.  I was already an executive chef by this time but I got schooled and kept my mouth shut, took notes.

Kawai is the Executive Chef at The Pan Pacific Hotel in Yokohama, Japan.  I was fortunate to work here after Michiba in Tokyo.  The man was Julian Serrano’s chef de cuisine at Masa’s in SF then went back home to run the illest of the ill hotel F&B programs on planet Earth.  Get married here!

Note to all young cooks: keep your mouth shut, take notes, practice, and always be willing to learn. Even when you think you are on top.

That’s me with my mouth shut :)


At the height of my career about 10 years ago, I decided to start over. I went to Japan and cooked in the Summer of ’03.  This is Kaishoku Michiba in the Ginza District of Tokyo.

The man with the semi-smile is Chef Yanai-San.  We spent 17 hours a day together in that kitchen and I am indebted to Michiba, Yanai, and the team allowing me to be a part of their family.

I learned that I had a whole lot to learn about cooking once I left Japan…

Grumpy Old Man

This was a tree trunk I happened upon.

Doesn’t it look like the old man from the Muppets who heckles in the opera seats?

Sometimes faces appear in my life in the most fascinating places.

Dead Middle

I’ve been doing some work over the past year or so on the DL with a local high school.

It reminds me sometimes of how little faith we have in each other that we must demand proof to clarify your actions.  It starts with a simple hall pass then it never fucking ends as you grow older in life.

We love to suffocate with hate.  People say I’m naive because I prefer not to ask anyone to justify their actions. I love it when people just grow.  Grow wild.  Not pruned.

I will never need a hall pass and you can’t passively-aggressively make yourself believe that I should ever listen.  Quicksand thoughts will not deter me.  I am not sorry.

I don’t want your pass.

I love you.

Isn’t that enough?

Fuck you, if it’s not.

There are some of you out there that feel me.  Holla!

Getting My Grub On

Jjambbong at Hong Kong Ban Jum on Western just below 8th street in the Rodeo Galleria in LA.

It’s spicy seafood noodle soup, a cross cultural inferno.  It’s a workers soup brought over by the Chinese immigrants in Korea that has become a national staple for everyday Korean life.

Jjambbong basically translates to “whatever the fuck we got throw it in and mix it up but make it a spicy kind of noodle soup”.

Field Trip: Anaheim

Sometimes, we take field trips to places that have some sort of role in Spaghetti Junction.  This is, after all, essentially one big, winding journey through L.A. and beyond, and there’s a whole lot we want to share with you.

We took a jaunt down the 5 to Anaheim recently to bring back some memories.  A few glimpses from the field trip:

And for lunch, a little Viet food to finish the day.