Summer has arrived in my incredibly wonderful city of Montreal! Here in the Mile-End Plateau, the council seems to be doing an fantastic job in turning the quartier to an eco-conscious, sustainable, and truly livable paradise. More bike lanes, reduction in traffic, larger sidewalks, green spaces, planting of trees, plant distribution and public farmers markets are progressively brought to our neighbourhood. What is best is that most of my friends live within walking or biking distance… pretty lucky stuff I would say.
I will soon be having a little break from my culinary classes for July. I have to say that I am looking forward to taking some time away from school and the kitchen to rejuvenate myself for the next session. Will be doing a stage at l’Hotel W in August for the Banquet course for two weeks. It will be good to actually work in the field rather than in the class room. This last week at school has been a bit arduous. Everyone seems to be burning out a little and the passion or care by my fellow students and the instructors themselves seems to be wading thin these days. We are all looking forward to getting away from one another. Visiting my family in Vancouver soon! Can’t wait.
Hammock Days… love lounging outdoors. Summer is here in Montreal. What an amazing place to be!
It has taken me some time before being able to sit down and blog. Due to a recent tragic event, I have not been able to make a clear sense of things. Nothing ever prepares you for senselessness. My very dear friend Bernard passed away on February 11, 2010… There are things that are so unexpected and inexplicable in life that no form of analysis can ever resolve or answer the many unanswerable questions. All I can say is that Bernard was an amazingly generous, fun, crazy friend. Someone asked me once if the Personal Fitness Course that I took was a waste of time because I didn’t pursue it as a career in it. I replied: Are you kidding me? I might have found the fitness industry boring, insipid and stupid but I made a great lifelong friend from it. Absolutely no regrets as the choices we make often leads to other possibilities and meanings. Making choices informs you on life and if you are lucky, puts you onto the path of meeting the people that might one day be very important to you. Bernard was one of those very important unique people that I have had the privileged to have met and called a friend.
Bernard and his beautiful wife Carolynn were the best Bon vivants and I wanted to emulate their love of eating great food. drinking amazing wine, and traveling the world. Bernard always found a way to laugh at things when it was going bad and there was always the typical French comment attached to it: “C’est Con!” He always made me laugh.
Eating dinner at their place was always an eventful feast with fantastic food and wine. Each meal was more decadent than the other. Delicious Foie Gras, Cassoulet avec Canard, Fresh raw Oysters on a half shell, Saucisse Boudin (only started to enjoy it at Bernard and Carolynn’s), Fondues, Sushi nights are some of the typical meals with copious amounts wine that was enjoyed at Bernard and Carolynn’s. I always ended stomach full and lying on the couch afterwards while they continued to party on. I admired and continue to admire their endurance and great taste for all the good and simple things in life. Damn, if we could have only eaten and drank our way around the world together! Glad we had a chance to attempt to just that one night in Paris where we met up and ate, drank, and walked as much as we could within a 7 hour period. Didn’t have much time together but boy did we try to fill our stomachs as much as possible with the time that we had together. Man that was so fucking fun and so privileged to have shared it with these two beautiful people. It was extraordinary!
I devote my pursuit in the culinary arts to you Bernard. I will cook with the passion that you have instilled in me to appreciate food, wine, friends, and life to the utmost. Miss you very much my dear friend. Rest In Peace.
You are much loved and appreciated. Your friend, Tony
Working on a new work with the Collective DeuxplusTrois=Un (Lucie Vigneault, Judith Allen, and Caroline Sirois). We had a informal showing in December 2009 and since then I’ve made some much needed changes. It is now a half hour piece of pure dance. I’m currently working with a score made up of popular music but that may eventually change if we decide to. However, I really am quite attached to the work of Montreal’s Patrick Watson as it seems to fit so well with the dancing. Hopefully we will have a chance to show the work to the general public very soon as it is really good and fun!
This week we got our chef’s uniform and knives. Will be in the kitchen learning French techniques. Super excited! First we begin with stocks.
Cooking and Creating Dances…. I like that combination…
The making and eating of food has always been a passion and a way of life to me. I love the idea of creating good healthy meals and sharing it with people. I personally prefer the concept of ordering things for the table where everyone eats the same dishes rather than individually ordering a meal for themselves. Coming from an Asian culture, I grew up in an environment and culture where the central social activity was based around eating together. I essentially grew up being around, thinking and talking about food. My family’s social events were all rooted around cooking, eating and drinking. Since I was a child, I always observed the way my parents and other people prepared meals in the kitchen. I realized that I picked up habits by watching how others cooked. It is such a beautiful art form. As an artist in the performing arts, I have always been inventive, creative, daring and curious. I see an uncanny parallel with cooking to dance making. It takes hard work, creativity, passion and a joy in what you are doing to become successful in anything.
I am very familiar and aware that the restaurant business is difficult and entails hard stressful work. My romantic outlook on cooking is balanced equally with a very pragmatic side. My father worked all of his life in restaurants and he had his own restaurant for a number of years in Vancouver. I myself worked in my father’s restaurant along with other eating establishments for years as a cook, busboy, bartender, and waiter to pay my way through school. It is a very competitive milieu and it constantly takes an innovative, fun and fresh approach to be relevant.
TOURNEZ VOTRE REGARD VERS L’INTERIEUR …
Il était une fois une vieille dame qui avait laissé tomber son aiguille à coudre.
Pendant qu’elle la cherchait dans son jardin, un homme qui passait l’aida dans ses recherches.
Après quelque temps, ils n’avaient toujours pas retrouvé l’aiguille. L’homme demanda à la vieille dame l’endroit exact où elle avait laissé tomber l’aiguille.
” Oh, je l’ai laissé tomber à l’intérieur de la maison “, répondit-elle. Etonné, il lui demanda pourquoi diable la cherchait-elle dans le jardin car, bien sûr, elle ne la trouverait jamais !
Elle répondit qu’il faisait trop sombre dans sa maison, et que c’était la raison pour laquelle elle cherchait dehors, où il faisait plus clair.
La plupart d’entre nous sont comme cette vieille femme – nous cherchons notre bonheur perdu à l’extérieur de nous-même.
Nous avons le sentiment qu’il fait clair à l’extérieur, et que c’est là que se situe toute action ! Mais le bonheur ne peut pas être trouvé là.
Il peut être trouvé dans le calme et la tranquillité à l’intérieur de nous-même.
Le bonheur est notre condition naturelle, et la méditation notre état d’esprit naturel.
C’est à nous de découvrir ce qui est déjà à l’intérieur de nous.