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Mon Sep 6, 2021, 11:16 PM

PBS: Chef Tu David Phu's "Brief but Spectacular" take on the memory of food



His parents were Vietnamese immigrants, grew up in a food insecure community and household:

"When I think of family meals that my mom cooked at home, I think of a bare chicken carcass that she got from the butcher shop because it was free. Credit to a lot of our mothers in their efforts to innovate dishes, to create recipes, to nourish their family, to make things delicious, because that's what love is."

Phu tried concentrating on traditional Vietnamese food for his restaurant, but came back to his mother's food. That with all his training as a chef he couldn't cook better than his mother and other Vietnamese mothers who had spent their lives cooking.

Couple of years ago I read a book about a famous chef who used to have an exclusive expensive restaurant. His staff spent days in finicky preparation of complicated high tech innovations, but he said what stumped him, what he couldn't do no matter how he tried, was make a good tortilla. In Mexico he'd watch women make tortillas -- perfect every time.

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