It's 10.30am in a dreary day. Raining, not pouring but showering lightly. We dress well; the seasoned production team got their rainproof GoreTex, me my umbrella and Tony, as usual, got his black leather jacket on.
And in walks Mr. Choi, a bit wet in his t-shirt and grey shorts starred with flour. I ask did he take any umbrella with him on his way. "No need. I gonna get wet anyway," says.
There's no air conditioner in this little dusty room. The room is so small that one of the three cameramen arrive needs to stay out.
Once the film starts rolling, Mr. Choi shows us his immaculate bamboo pasta sleight of hand in front of the cameras non-stop. For 2 hours straight -- I explain to Tony that machine can yield the same kind of noodles in 10 minutes -- the clock atop screams eternality...
But the clock is lying. Mr. Choi at below moves lightning fast, unexpectably for someone in his early 60's but reasonably expectable from someone who's been doing this daily for the last 45 years. Occasionally, he has to slow down for the cameras. The usually very chirpy shooting team is in mute mode for 2 hours. Tony too is unusually quiet for 2 hours. It is, except for a few questions, very silent in the room. The entire 2 hours.
Then when all is done, all of us shake hands with the master and express our gratitude to him, about how privileged it is for us to film this process. We don't know what else to say at that moment. And out we leave.
Minutes later, emotions explode on the way hotel.
It is as epical, lyrical and graceful as any kind of artisanal food making can be.
This, I promise, will be the final installment of my "Tony-hang-out-with-me-not-you-and -I-got-the-chance-to-bug-him-again-and-again-to-help-out-the-Menu-For-Hope-III-Campaign" braggingdrumming (for goodness sake, do I have to be such an annoying smug to draw my reader's attention?). That's all for the moment. I'm pretty much dried with tricks unless he's willing to donate his leather jacket as well (we'll see tomorrow).
This is a 18R-sized poster with Anthony Bourdain shooting with the highly-buffed noodle brothers in Mongkok. It is signed by Anthony Bourdain especially for the campaign and will go to the winner of prize AP34 as a tie-in. Yes, the AP34 that I very much wanted to keep to myself! Bid more. Donate more. Help more!
Yesterday our city was jolted out of a case of the doldrums with a erotictragic fall of a teen idol. Blame it to wardrobe malfunction, the idol's pants slipped when she was doing some acrobatics on live TV to raise funds for charity, ending millions of audience seeing her thong (we love to call it T-back here in Hongkong) on TV. My colleagues simple went ape over the incident while watching its replay on youtube again and again, as if they're very lucky to see a thong.
But come to think of it, it IS very lucky to see thong. Because, I mean, the very fact that we're able to see thong, either on TV or PC or prints or even to wear that ourselves, somehow means that we don't have to worry sick about our next meal. Trust me, people living in poverty simply can't afford the luxury for all these thongy thingy.
They rather see food.
And this, sensibly brings me to the Menu For Hope III and how you can help these people.
This fund-raising event begins today and ends on Dec 22. During this span, you'll have the chance to buy raffle tickets for some amazing gifts kindly donated by bloggers from around the globe. Later today, you can visit Chez Pim's campaign page to glimpse the entire global gift list, or you can visit the regional coordinator Grab Your Fork's blog now for a detailed round-up of our own Asia Pacific area. Donation is easy and all the money raised are going to be funneled to Unicef when you donate via this reliable donation page.
For the event I'm donating a set of Anthony Bourdain books that includes Nasty Bits, A Cook's Tour, Kitchen Confidential and Les Halles Cookbook. What set them apart from those you can easily buy from Amazon.com is that they are all signed by the author himself. And if the brewing is right, more bonus will be awarded to the winner of this gift as well: could be a A4-sized poster of 'Bourdain Does Hongkong,' to be shot by yours truly and signed by the poster boy himself. So if you're a big fan of Mr. Bourdain, stay tuned to this blog for the coming few days -- Mr. Bourdain might as well donate his own thongsponsor more memorabilia for the occasion. Before I forget, the gift code is AP34for the books, and the bonus.
If you want to donate, here's what you should do...
1.Go to the donation page at (http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhopeIII) 2.Make
a donation, each US$10 will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize
of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you'd like in the
'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your
donation. Do tell us how many tickets per prize, and please use the
prize code - for example, a donation of US$50 can be 2 tickets for AP01
and 3 for AP02. 3. For
US donors, if your company has agreed to match your charity donation,
please remember to check the box and fill in the information so we may
claim the corporate match. 4. Please
also check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we
could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be
shared with anyone. 5.Check
back on Chez Pim on January 15 when we announce the results of the
Again, many thanks for everyone's support, and hat off to Pim for devising such wonderful and meaningful event! Remember, the gift code is AP34!