April 7, 2015
Trips halfway around the world to ensure smooth development and production of our beloved Chef’n items can be cumbersome to say the least. Long flights, crowded trains, bumpy roads and treacherous seas link together a carefully selected network of Chef’n suppliers around the globe. Many of those treks take us to China, where the food is as diverse as the products we create.
Luckily, many of our suppliers share the same passion for food as we do. After a lengthy day of evaluating top secret items under development, it’s always a refreshing way to end it with friends, a few beers and a great meal. This involves skipping the ubiquitous spinning table of gluttony at every towns fancy hotel to get off the grid and eat where the locals do. Those giant hotel tables of culinary doom just don’t suit us, whereas sitting on a faded plastic stool on a bumpy sidewalk tucked in an alley fits us to a T. These tiny spots allow for a window into local fare many never get to experience. The ability to take a spin through the kitchen with the chef/owner and see how the magic happens is truly a treat. From the well-worn chopping blocks, to homemade knives and giant woks, it’s a something not to be missed. Fresh and local ingredients deep in China is not just a trend, it’s simply how it’s done. Each little town has its own specialty ranging from veggies, to fish to pork – any of which can be wrapped up, stuffed into a bun or served in a boiling pot loaded with spices. We always say “try every dish once, maybe not twice!” to see how each concoction comes together. Top that off with copious amounts of Tsing Tao and the day is complete.
One last hint – take time to get up early each morning, skipping the bland hotel buffet. Wander the local area to see what it offers for the taste buds. Drop in on a local market and graze. Stop off at a food cart and try something new. As Toucan Sam said – “follow your nose, it always knows”! Hopefully your nose leads you on a taste buds enchanting journey like us.
Enjoy the pictures form my last trip through China. With stops in Shanghai, Yongkang, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.