这位帅气的大厨来自于德国，他的幽默和健谈是我所接触过的德国人中极少见的。在众多西方国家有过丰富工作资历的Maik ，不仅能博采各国西餐之精髓，而且从他身上还能感受到各国文化融会贯通的气息。曾几何时，因为foodie这种城市动物的流行和自鸣得意，“食材”这个本来很普通的词似乎有了特殊的含义，好像只有伊比利亚黑蹄猪火腿，阿尔巴的白松露，布列斯蓝脚鸡才称得上“食材”，没有产地命名，没有出身来历，价钱也不会让你破产的广大动植物就不是食材，不配好吃似的！《后厨机密》的作者，美国人比尔-比福德 (BillBuford)，跑到意大利向一个有名的肉贩学艺，对方告诉他，一头牛是什么品种，远没有它是吃什么长大的重要，后者更决定了肉的品质和风味。所以好的大厨，首先不是他会做多么复杂的酱汁，或会耍多么花哨的掂锅手法，而是他比我们更了解食材，并懂得运用厨技来平衡、发挥和体现食材们本身的质素。
[外文]To Enjoy a Genuine Western Food
As a famous expression goes, “If I’m not at home, I’ll be in a café or on the way there.” It has once written on the notice-board of a Western Café in Kunming, which shows cafés and western restaurants have been a part of fashionable life of people here.
Western Foods, in its proper sense, is the general term for foods of the U.S. and European countries, like France, Italy, Britain and Russia. However, Tom Yam soup (a Thai-style dish) has won popularity among Kunming’s western restaurants. Besides, eastern foods, say, Japanese, Korean, Sichuan-and- Yunnan foods, are also listed in the menus of these restaurants. If western foods are to fill one’s stomach in other places; then they are used for enjoyment in Kunming.
Those who are sociable should go to Chinese restaurants, while those who are tasteful should be western ones. Against the romantic candlelight, one may enjoy the setting sun in a western restaurant and taste the wine from France, with melodious notes vaguely played. He or she is drowned in the most wonderful night. According to incomplete statistics, Western restaurants in Kunming have yearly mushroomed up to more than 100. Ironically, I had no access to savoring the genuine western foods in Kunming until the executive chef of the Bank Hotel cooked in person. However, it is not until I made myself acquainted with the executive head chef of the Bank Hotel that my tongue has a chance to taste the genuine western foods in Kunming.
Maik, a handsome chef who is more humorous and conversant than Germans I have ever met. With rich experience as a cook in many European countries, he can not only widely absorb the essence of western foods, but also have a good knowledge of different cultures. I don’t know when ingredient, a very common word, has been labeled a special meaning, because of popularity and self-satisfaction of foodies in cities. It seems that only Iberian black-hoofed pig ham, white Alba truffle and Bulie Si blue foot chicken can be “foodie”, while numerous animals and plants, with unknown original places, which costs you a little, are not “foodie” actually and deserve no taste. Bill Buford, an American writer of Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany, once went to Italy to learn how to cook well from a butcher, and was told that the strain of cattle is less important than what they are fed, for the later decides the quality and flavor of beef. Therefore, an excellent chef is not the person who can make sauce in a complex way or cook in various ways, but the one who acquaints ingredients and knows well how to balance them.
Once a chef becomes famous, there are probably two options for him. One is to remain a cook; the other is to run a restaurant himself. I love chatting with Michael who still is a chef now. He may tell me that sauce he uses is made from canned tomatoes or Japanese seafood, because Spaghetti with meat sauce won’t taste delicious with local tomatoes of different varieties, while marine tomatoes of Japan, with lower price than others, can bring you a flavor of sea. What Maik does shows the profession and prudence of German. It’s so lucky to enjoy the “Chef Table” launched exclusively by the Bank Hotel when Maik starts to work in the hotel. And an experience of enjoying a high-class dinner is just around corner, for we will dine in the kitchen, with a well trained chef team bring amazing and wonderful dishes in front of you. And Maik will lead his team to provide guests a feast to satisfy your senses of smell, taste and vision. If you like, Maik will invite you to a VIP lounge to drink wine with him and talk about cate freely.
An ideal meal is that you can enjoy a genuine western food in Kunming, a southwestern cities in China, when being far from the homeland.