Poetry / culinary poetics
Tracing His Thoughts. A Far Away Pearl Close to Heart
SOUTH. What happened in those years?
he gives me
a room on the second floor.
an olive tree scents the window.
a bicycle wheels me
away from the pig farm
away from tourist colors
away from trompe-l’oeils
away from my birthland.
childhood was never clear.
is jacque pourcel* my stepfather?
is le jardin sens my home?
in front of him i am transparent
i twine pine garlands
among warm coals
in hearts of snow
soothing wintry yearning~~
ohhhh~~the aroma of heat raising heat
of red chilies
in crushed garlic and red quinoa crust
coating alaskan king crab leg
reaching for flamed toro oil oozing~~rolling
green basil consummating~~
’tis temptation on the moon of rocks.
’tis time to test the waters.
blush. in southern france
layers. labor. patience. before birthing
i dream of one far away
in a typhoon shelter
where secrets thrive
in my crustaceans.
where waters connect the moon
close to home.
food is ephemeral.
Chef André Chiang
*Jacque Pourcel — André Chiang’s mentor in southern France. Owner of the restaurant Le Jardin Sens.
The Taiwanese chef grew up in Japan and Taiwan with his chef mother. At age 15 he chose to rough it on a southern French rural farm — not speaking any French but determined to learn cooking from the most unattainable. André often struggled with identity in his 15 years in France. 12 years after returning to Asia, he became the first and only chef of Chinese origin on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 2018.
A child said I want to be a Michelin-star chef like you.
André replied No. Just be a happy chef.
I seek to interpret the element of south in André Chiang’s culinary Octaphilosophy — pure, artisan, south, texture, unique, salt, memory, and terroir. I’m not affiliated with him or his restaurants. Just pure admiration for his artistry. His food creation concepts fascinate me.
What prompted the need to earn his stripes in France? Weighing in on history and cultural perception.
Pearls, a south blush
even permanent seawater
turns transparent of its body
once scooped out
~ André & His Olive Tree
To all away from home in December, may warm thoughts bring you comfort. ❤️
© 2022 Pseu Pending (Seu)
Thanks to Blue Insights for publishing these culinary poetics.