Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category



Read Full Post »

                                                        Restaurant Review: Boiling Point

Yao pai duo jiu?” said my mother, as we walked past the restaurant in the empty plaza in Hacienda Heights. We often drove past this small restaurant but we didn’t go that often because of the long wait. No matter when the weather is hot or cold lunch or dinner there was always a line and the only line in the plaza. The English name is called Boiling Point but the Chinese name is called “chou chou guo” if translated also known as Stinky Stinky Pot.


Peering from outside one can see and feel the liveliness and youthfulness in the restaurant, there are many college students and families in line and waiting and filling up the small restaurant.  Everyone is dressed in casual attire to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. From the moment you walk in you feel as if almost all of your five senses are used all at one time as you can hear the laughter and Asian pop music, smell the stinky tofu, see the steaming food right before your eyes, feel the warmness once you order a meal, and can almost taste everything.


Who thought of this stinky gumminess you may ask? This restaurant is a Taiwanese Japanese fusion it isn’t the first restaurant with the same concept, but first in the U.S. The concept originated from Taiwan as a mixture of Taiwanese Style Hot Pot. Hot Pot is very similar to Shabu Shabu, which originated from Japan. Hot pot is a broth mixture that is filled with a variety of vegetables and meat.  


When entering the restaurant the first thing one can see the bright yellow walls the color of egg yolks, around 15 wooden tables some for a party of 2 to 8 and booths along the wall. On the wall hang the menu and a bulletin board with pictures of customers, chalk drawing and ads. Toward the inner wall is the kitchen and drink station. At the drink station works 4 to 5 college students assigned to a variety of jobs such as making drinks seating customers, serving food, and waiting on tables.

Once seated, an early 20 year old college looking student comes and offers a free sweet winter melon tea drink during lunch then hands a piece of paper and pencil. On the long strip of paper is the menu of 7 hot pots. The seven house pot are House special Hot Pot, Seafood and Tofu hot pot, beef hot pot, Lamb Hot Pot, Korean Kimchi Hot Pot, Curry Fish ball Hot soup, and Tomato and Veggie Hot Soup. Of the variety the House Special stood out as it is the most popular but to others it may not be pleasant, as they never enjoyed a stinky tofu. Most people have only tried fried stinky tofu but the tofu in the hot pot is steamed and is even smellier. As they advertise it a House Special is “So hot. So bubbly. So stinky. So wanty! Originated from Taiwan, stinky with a great savory taste, non-greasy and non-fattening are the distinctive features of our famous soup base.” Since I grew up enjoying stinky tofu I believe the smellier the better, because the food has a unique distinct flavor and smell with a variety of spicyness. If an indredient is not enough or not there I can just order more as a side dish. Usually shabu shabu is eaten with a speical sauce so is the hot pot. The 3 dipping sauce is a Spicy garlic bean paste. Garlic creamy soy sauce, house special spicy sauce–all carries their savory taste, which enhances the unique flavor of the hot soups. When combined, all 3 sauces and bring out all kinds of flavorsr in the hot soup entrees. What make the entrée even tastier is it is affordable of $10.99 for each pot. Craving for sweets after a hot meal one can enjoy a plate of fruit shaved snow. What is shaved snow? It is like melt in your mouth milk snow similar to shaved ice topped with fruit and condensed milk. I recommend this restaurant it is worth the wait.

Read Full Post »

All I can say for now in two to summarize my story is “My Grandmother”. Most people at this point would think my grandma just influenced my culinary career. However that is not true my grandma has not only influenced my culinary career, but also influenced me to become the person who I am. She is my best friend, role model, mother, my number one supporter and more. I just want to clarify my mother has influenced me but not the same way my grandmother has.

Ever since I was young I grew up living with my mom and my younger sister. My mother was the financial supporter in the family and had a strong personality similar to a father role model. She had become stronger emotionally and physically to support my sister. I don’t have many fond memories of my father but only of that he did not support the family financially he only caused unhappiness to the family. Like a father figure my mother worked long hours and barely had time for my sister and I, she disciplined us, and supported our decisions. The main thing she taught to me is to become as strong as her that a weak person will not survive in this world and that crying won’t change anything. As we were going through financial problems we often ate the same thing more than 2 times a week and were often frozen foods. It wasn’t that my mother wasn’t a good cook but she just didn’t have the time to at times she made really good dishes although at other times I wish she just didn’t make me food.

From childhood I was a creative child and more patient than most of my family members therefore loved arts and craft. My early memories of childhood were mainly of my grandmother and she favored me and spent a lot of time with me because I was her first grand child. I remembered I spent most of my childhood with my grandma when she came to America she lived next door and would stay for months at a time. I remembered I didn’t like staying home because my parents often argued or were busy working and I often got into fights with my sister. I would go to my grandmother’s house whenever I could and listen to classical music in her room and talk for hours, in the afternoon we would always have a slice cake and tea and we would talk even more, she took me out to eat. We could talk about anything at the same time I never really noticed but she always taught me life lessons of what she learned from her past and new news she learned herself recently when we talked.

My grandmother often cooked for me my favorite foods. One dish stood out to me was her bamboo and pork rib soup made with fresh bamboo shoots grown in Taiwan that she would especially bring to America to cook for me. It has a certain smell of freshness of bamboo once cooked in soup can be smelled really delicious throughout the house. I would often just sit next to her as she cooked and talked to her and watched her cook when she was done I was always the first to try.

When we went out she would take me eat new foods she enjoyed. Not all would be savory but when we went out for desserts we would buy it and take it home to enjoy. I never grew up eating fast food or cloyingly sweet American cakes so I don’t particularly enjoy it. Mentioning desserts my grandmother and I would eat Japanese influenced desserts such as tarts, mousses, and cheesecake during our afternoon teatime. She also showed me traditional desserts relating to my culture such as moon cakes, shaved ice, mochi, and other dessert from other cultures like churros and chocolate cupcakes.

However reality hit and her health wasn’t as strong and after 6th grade she hasn’t visited me in America until my high school graduation and it was only 3 weeks. In those 3 weeks I took her to eat at places that I really liked; like old times. The only other way I can communicate with her is through the phone or if I went back to Taiwan I went back twice and it was for 2- 3 weeks. When I went back she would tell me all about Taiwan’s food culture. She told me even though Taiwan is really small but the food influence in Taiwan is not a joke because all the produces are grown freshly in Taiwan. She taught me the smaller the strawberry is the sweeter it its and she took me to eat at street restaurants, food marts, night markets, cafes, bakeries, convenient stores, and malls. The foods found in the food courts in Taiwan are not as unhealthy compared to the food found in America. The food industry in Taiwan is very competitive and is ahead in food trends especially in the desserts. I’ve eaten desserts I never would have imagined to eat here.

 I was really happy and I miss everything looking back now if I could I would want to turn back time to my grandmother’s house to listen classical music, talk, and eat. Looking back I reminisce through food that is probably the reason at a young age I knew I wanted to be in the food industry. Another reason is food brings comfort and happiness in general for me desserts because desserts are sweet and I wish to spread love and happiness through pastries to other people. As I combine my artistic abilities and future skill/ knowledge to show people what I am capable to bring to the table with appearance, taste and emotions through my desserts.

Read Full Post »

Food Controversy: FOOD COLORING
When you look at cheddar cheese what is the first color that comes to your mind? Most people will say American cheddar cheese is an orange yellow color. What if I told you cheddar cheese was actually white. What if I told you not all oranges are orange but is actually the color orange because of food coloring? I was just as surprised as most people when they heard it for the first time. Food coloring part everyday foods some that we know are in some we don’t, it may seem harmless however there are side effects to bright color in our foods. In the following paragraphs I will introduce food coloring causation, side effects, and controversy.
Food Coloring is a food additive. Like all food additives the main purpose is to retain or enhance the appearance and taste. Food coloring is added to most processed food to give more eye appeal to consumers, to cover the natural color as it is less appealing, re-add color that was lost because of light, moisture, air, storage damage, and to protect vitamins and flavors from harm done by the light. Different countries have their own views about food coloring. As for the U.S. recognizes food coloring is not natural but synthetic. Even though it is not natural the FDA considers food coloring as a Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) product. In other countries food coloring has maximum daily intake. Similar to the U.S. all food additives are E-Numbered in Europe to show whether it is approved.
Food coloring may seem subtle and harmless product but the side effects are life threatening. Common or most concerning side effects of Allura Red food coloring are the allergic reactions people may have to it. As continual usage or consumption of red color can lead to swelling and hives in the bronchial tube and can increase risks of getting cancer. Another side issue is the usage and consumption of the product alone is not harmful but as mixed with other preservatives is harmful as it causes hyperactivity in children from ages 8 to 9. This is only the side effect of one the red food color compared to all the food color created.
There are 6 main food coloring that has caused concern for controversy. The 6 colorings are Allura Red, Carmoisine, Ponceau 4R, Quinoline, Sunset Yellow, and Tartrazine. Some common foods that contain these coloring are in soft/fruit drinks, confectionaries, ice cream, yogurt, and smoked fish. Many argue whether food coloring is actually harmful and lead to life threatening situations and because of the fact that most food coloring used is synthetic whether is should be approved or banned. If it were up to me I would ban food coloring. Regardless of my opinion food coloring is too deeply integrated into the American culture to reverse and remove. One option is that if food coloring is such a major concern that one should read the nutrition facts and not but the product. Another option is eat food with natural color or buy processed food with natural food coloring such as chlorophyll, caramel coloring, saffron, paprika, and more.
The next time you drink colorful Vitamin Water or eat a processed food think twice about the food coloring added and the side effects of it. Every country has their views of food coloring, as it may be just be about the risks or side effects from products containing coloring. This is why there are food controversies.
Delwichi, Jeannine. Food Coloring. (2010, November 7)
Ferrar, Diana. Harmful Effects of Red Food Coloring. (2010, March 28)
Smith, G. Al. The Ongoing Food Coloring Controversy in the UK. (2008, May 12).

Read Full Post »

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Read Full Post »