The intrepid and indomitable Travelling Gourmet tells you about
Avarice and Venezuelan Chocolates……
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MY experience has always emphasized to me how alike people are, whatever their race, colour or religion. When I was on special assignment in Thailand, I once saw a horizontally challenged German gentleman rush to the lunch buffet in a 5 star establishment in Bangkok, pile his two plates with a mountain of food, and in just a little while he was back for round 2. The other people including myself were still only starting to select the food to put on our plates for our first helping!
New York, New York, so good they named it twice…
On my travels round the world on business and on special assignments, I have met and worked with many people from New York
. Sadly, most of them have always impressed me negatively with their impatience, aggressiveness, sneakiness and insensitivity. There was a New York lady called A B, who married and divorced 4 times and now lives with No. 5 but is unmarried. She took a liking to me and confided in me all about her love life. Hell, I’m a very good listener you see…I prayed that she was not thinking of me as husband number 6. She is the most obnoxious and “bananas” person I have ever met, manipulative, aggressive and prone to fits of rage and very, very bad language that would make a US Marine faint.
Venezuelan Chocolate in Bassano del Grappa…
Let me tell you this true story. I was on a Press Trip in a remote part of Italy up in the mountains near the Austrian border. I was in the beautiful town of Bassano del Grappa which means “the foot of Grappa mountain”. There was a very horizontally challenged (obese) gentleman journalist from New York
in our group of journalists and writers. A stuck up and pretentious person. After the huge dinner with a different wine for every course, the Chef brought out his special chocolates to enjoy with Grappa and coffee. They were made with the best premium Venezuelan Criollo chocolate filled with the most exquisite Grappas of different flavours. Most of us were too full to savour more than one or two. The New Yorker gorged himself on about 8 chocolates! We all went out to wait for our transport back to the hotel. Through the glass windows of the restaurant
, we all saw the New Yorker shovelling a whole tray of the chocolates into his carrier bag to doggy bag and take away. It was really disgraceful behavior, greedy and most unbecoming. My friend, Antonio Nardini, the owner of the restaurant who also owns the famous Nardini Grappa distillery, was standing beside me. Antonio observed everything the New Yorker did. I will never forget the singular bemused smile on his face. The ‘business lunch’ really went wrong for the journalist from the Big Apple. Perhaps, that is why greed and avarice is one of the seven deadly sins
Don’t get me wrong, there are also very good people from New York like my good friend, Executive Chef Jonathan Kinsella of Bistro Moderne Daniel Boulud in Marina Bay Sands, whose culinary skill is only outdone by his infectious charm and cheeky grin!
Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet is a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer/Editor in Asia
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