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By Steven Li on 2006-05-26

May 26, 2006


May I say, “HOLY MOLY!” So much has happened since I got home a couple of weeks ago. I was all set for a boring summer of nothing but school (try doing Chemistry, Hawaiian, Statistics and Philosophy while everyone else is at the beach), but…food comes a calling…

Guess what? I’m starting a one month internship at Chef Mavro in exactly a week! AHHHH!!! That’s how I express excitement. I’ll be working a full 40 hours/week with pastry chef Hiromi Okura in addition to 9 hours of school on M/W and 4 hours on T/R/F. I don’t know how I’ll find the time to do everything, and do a good job of it, but when there’s a will (or food, in this case), there’s a way. For sure!

And if internship wasn’t enough to keep me eternally smiling, Gail has asked to write for Hawaii Diner. I’ve been asked! To write! I’ve written restaurant reviews for the Ka Punahou in high school and NYU’s Washington Square News, but this…it’s a completely different level for me :) Gah, just so excited. About EVERYTHING. Ok, I’ll stop jabbering and take a breath.

Thanks for putting up with my excitement. There’s far too much food energy running inside of me and I’ll burst if I don’t release it somewhere. Hence this blog! If you’re still reading, I reward you with a picture of my mom’s favorite Thai dessert.

Like all Vietnamese and Thai desserts, I am completely clueless as to the proper English name. Name aside, isn’t it beautiful? Each translucent green square is about the sice of a half dollar. The pandan flavored jelly, at once chewy with a bit of a crispy snap, is filled with sweetened mung beans and dotted with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

It’s a lovely dessert/snack for people like my mom (and many immigrant Asians) who find “normal” desserts too sweet and prefer more starchy, lightly flavored treats. The play of textures is very addictive. This jelly is like a cross between agar-agar and a soft mochi. You only get a hint of pandan, letting the slightly nutty flavor of the beans shine though.

I’ll try my best to keep the site frequently updated even though I can feel all the work starting to pile up (who knew Hawaiian was such a hard language to learn?!) I’ve meet so many wonderful people because of food blogging – it’s hard to comprehend that all of this came though a desire to express my thoughts on food and eating. I know how much effort goes into a single post so rest assured that your site is fully appreciated! Ay, happy, happy. Ok guys, eat well and keep it tight :)

I think my parents are starting to understand just how badly I want to go to pastry school. They’re quite happy I’m planning to graduate a year early (hence summer school). I just have to convince them to use the saved tuition to pay for classes at the French Culinary Institute. They more or less have it figured that they can’t pull my away from the culinary world no matter how hard they try. They’ve been very supportive of everything I’ve pursued in the past and the more I show an interest/obsession with food, they more they’re starting to come to terms with the fact that I just can’t sit behind a desk as a accountant for the rest of my life (as much as I love the set the balance sheet equal).

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