Thanks to the team for making a very productive menu development session.  It was the first one in a long time since we have been away on Maui the last two months, busy preparing to open Amasia. 

I really had a good time today and it seemed everyone was eager. That energizes me, as I feed off of that energy and I feel like doing more. 

In the end we always recap the session. I feel this is the most important time to reflect and understand what each person did and learned.  When it came to me, I asked them to think about "how" I was able to look at a shoyu duck leg in the kitchen at Amasia and what results came from that. The other one was "how"  I was able to look at a Richard Ha tomato -- beautifully displayed at the robata station in Amasia -- and turn that into a slow-grilled whole tomato in a nabe (soup dish) and what became of it today.

How you look at things makes all the difference. I see potential in almost everything I do, culinarily, and with people.  I can watch a cook and see the potential in them.  Everything and everybody needs a little working at, and a little nudging.

Pierson, Graham and Sonny. The boys are happy after eating steak tartare, uni and caviar.


Shoyu duck on pho rice noodles, shallots, cilantro mint basil and jalapeno.


 Shoyu duck salad on skinny udon, same flavors, different pasta.


Slow-roasted tomato dashi soup, parmesan, chorizo, basil and red chili flakes. Tasted like a pizza.


"Spong" bao buns.


"Spong" bao moco.


I was trying to slot in/slot out a robata "spong" dish on a skewer.


Zuchini Tsukemono and Spong, baked with parmesan and tomato.


On the menu tonight: Shoyu Duck, Sweet Potato Glass Noodle Salad, Lumpia, Pickled Red Onions by Hong.