ESL Carnival's – Sit. Speak. Eat

Teaching Abroad in Paradise

Travel Cuisine


September 7, 2013

One of my memories of Shanghai, China is the array of potent aromatic sauteed dishes from the popup outdoor cafes.  At current in the USA the popup food trucks seem to be a reoccurring theme of what used to be the back drop of beach Americana from the 1950’s to the current day in 2013.  The popup food truck vs. the Chinese outdoor cafe.  Now that’s something worth writing about.  Instead, (today), I find it worthwhile to remember “Spring Foods,” or the outdoor sauteed Asian foods with a wok-temperature of about 200 degrees fahrenheit.   But instead of China I’d like to travel over to Bangkok, Thailand and mention a sauce called curry.

I hate curry.

First of all I cannot digest alot of fresh pepper that is a main ingredient in alot of curry dishes.  (Some curry dishes contain jalapeno, red and green peppers, see the 10 hottest peppers in the world).

At least between 2004 and 2008 I found curry, (yellow especially), very distasteful and completely unsightly.  It was totally repugnant and reminded me of something dispelling and unmentionable.  The smell took my senses away to a place that I didn’t want to visit and I didn’t even know, (at first), what it was that was tingling the senses in my nasal area, salivary glands and digestive tract.  I thought, well, it could be anything.  Then after ordering many entrees all over Hubei, Beijing and Shanghai – I discovered what I hated most.  I discovered what was causing me to stretch my unsatisfactory senses to the brink – curry.

2013.  The Bangkok 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Thai-Chinese Restaurant).  Some friends of mine kept informing me of all the nutritional values in Bangkok’s Yellow Curry: “Your choice of meat, (beef, chicken, pork, or tofu – shrimp or squid is +$1.00 extra dollar), stewed in coconut milk with onions, potatoes, curry powder and yellow curry paste.”  I can’t even believe that I’m writing about yellow curry like this in my blog.  But low and behold I kept thinking –  “healthy, healthy, healthy”, while I sipped and ate the thick yellow soup and to my surprise I replaced what I thought was the unsightly repugnant taste with the cultural bliss of a lifetime.  Yellow curry was delicious after all.  It was meaty and delicious with lots of golden potatoes.  Other Bangkok 9’s Curry dishes are: Red Curry, Green Curry, Masarman Curry, Panang Curry, Shrimp Pineapple Curry and Panang Duck).

So, I’ve come to revise my sentiments: I now love to taste, chew and enjoy curry.   Is Bangkok 9 a tasteful curry paradise?  You be the judge.


ESL Carnival



May 18,2013

I knew that ESL Carnival’s next blog would portray Food Network’s infamous Swedish chef-star Marcus Samuelsson who came to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart on Saturday, May 18, 2013.  The creative and most inspiring show ever to grab foodies, pastry chefs, artists in all mediums and other fanciful addicts is a show called, “Chopped”.  The food judges & hosts of the show are Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant, Alex Guarnasheli, Geoffrey Zakarian, Aaron Sanchez, Chris Santos, Marc Murphy and Amanda Freitag.

“Chopped” is the most widely successful and opinionated show on Food Network, the Travel Channel, TLC, and HDTV combined.  All are great networks hosting an array of artful shows and btw, I wouldn’t dare miss an episode of House Hunters International on HDTV.  (The latter certainly speaks to ESL Carnival’s readers who may want to house hunt in foreign countries while teaching abroad).

Taking all of the other networks into consideration, I still take particular delight bringing up the sensational episode featuring a 16-year old child prodigy and chef from Manhattan, New York, named Greg Grossman.  As a matter of fact this particular episode is the most remarkable one ever on chopped since it speaks to the issue of the creative advancement of young people in the culinary industry through the efforts of selective choices by either the child/or parents.  I adore parents that yes, have a lot of money and time to invest into enrolling their child into culinary school but who also I admire parents who offer the child a world of knowledge  on options that delight in diplomacy, etiquette, decorum and most of all, individual character.

Greg Grossman, (again) 16 at time of taping, did get “chopped” or eliminated from the show after the first round as he forgot an item in the food basket and furthermore mishandled his appetizer in order to secure into line up with the other competitors.  Chopped has truly an international venue, with it’s judges, hosts and critiques originating from many countries including Sweden, Africa, Italy, France and the USA.  This love of culture and of international diplomacy makes Chopped, Marcus Samuelson, Greg Grossman and even the host Ted Allen, a welcomed addition to the ESL Carnival Travel, Entertaining and the Spotlight.

“Chopped” and its international flare, its social graces and intercultural fanfare all fit perfectly into our creative and international stream.

ESL Carnival



  1. Comment by ESL Carnival | September 5, 2013 | Reply

  2. Comment by ESL Carnival | September 5, 2013 | Reply

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