Indian Cuisine

India - Sculpture head, Buddha meditating, India 12th century

Buddha Meditating, India 12th c.

Fish Curry From Bananas
Halva From Meat

“It is possible to eat what you believe to be a fish curry only to learn it was made from unripe bananas, or to taste a sweet halva and find it was made not of fruit or vegetables but meat.” — Attia Hosain and Sita Pasricha

An Ancient People and Cuisine: The Indian civilization is one of the oldest and most important in Continue reading

Bento I — Bento Boxes

Makunouchi to Third Meal
Eki Ben to Artist Palettes

“Tradition-hallowed, honest-to-cherry blossom, real bento provide delightful picnics.” — Nina Froud [1]

Lacuer Bento Box

Lacquer Bento Box

Bento is a characteristic Japanese way of packing up a quick meal to eat on the go.

Technically a Bento box is a container, usually metallic, but often made of lacquer, wood,or Continue reading

Baked Alaska

The Emperor of Ice Cream
Celestial Chefs’ Invention

Baked Alaska frozen dessert

Baked Alaska

Did ancient Chinese chefs invent Baked Alaska? Trader Joe thinks so. [1]

In promoting a new peppermint Baked Alaska for the Christmas season, Continue reading


A Swiss Kids’ Drink and the Silk Road
Fusion Food in a Bento Box



One of the desserts at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market in Manhattan is Ovaltine Kulfi in a Bento Box.  So what does a kids’ drink have to do with Pacific Rim chefs?  Was Marco Polo peddling Ovaltine at the court of Kublai Khan?

Tell the truth, Ovaltine had not yet been invented in Marco’s day.  It came a while later. But if you were a foreign kid in Shanghai’s Foreign Settlement before the Second World War, you probably knew Ovaltine, along with Wheaties, Continue reading


Himalayan Ancestor of Ice Cream
Fusion Food in a Bento Box



According to some accounts, Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor of China, enjoyed ice cream.  Marco Polo is said to have brought the recipe back to Italy. [1]

Others believe that frozen desserts may have their origin in the Himalayan Mountain area where ancient Indians learned how to combine the ice and snow with milk and other ingredients to make delicious frozen treats. Continue reading

Jean-Georges Vongerichten


The Most Famous Fusion Chef
Hooked on Kimchi

“No single chef has made more influence on the way…other chefs cook and other restaurants look.” — New York Magazine



You have probably noticed an explosion of Thai-inspired restaurants run by Westerner chefs. You will find them in many places, even in Bangkok.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the Alsatian-born French chef, may be the single person most responsible for this phenomenon. Continue reading