This Day of Change

A teenager stirs a pot of curry in the kitchen of a teashop in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Jan. 20, 2009. There are about 40 boys working in this teashop, all from the same rural village in Shan State. They make from $15 – $25 USD per month, working seven days a week to send the…Continue readingThis Day of Change

Thai Curry for the Weather

I’m a little behind in mentioning this, but we were still in Myanmar when this posted. Remember the Prem Organic Cooking Academy and Farm? I’m impressed with the efforts of this place near Chiang Mai, where kids from all over Asia get down-and-dirty hands-on lessons in traditional Thai kitchen techniques. The academy operates under the…Continue readingThai Curry for the Weather


Spicy dog eyes Yangon curry We are back. It’s a short flight from Yangon to Bangkok, barely an hour, but it feels like a journey between worlds. Time jumps forward at touchdown: 9:30 a.m. in Burma is 10 a.m. in Bangkok. The former sets a pace 30 minutes askew to the rest of the region.…Continue readingReturn

Sikkim Christmas

Peace and happiness, everyone. We shall spend our holidays in northern Thailand this year. But let me tell you about last year’s festivities: After years of seeking something of a real Christmas spirit in Asia, we unexpectedly find it in Pelling. No scantily clad bar girls in Santa hats, no beer-bellied boors. Just a mountain,…Continue readingSikkim Christmas

Day of Thanks, Day of Mourning

Grilling Thai chicken at The Prem Organic Cooking Academy On this day of Thanksgiving, we wake to bulbils singing in the trees and news of dozens dead in Mumbai. Thousands remain stranded in Bangkok, as we await word of friends and colleagues scheduled to arrive from North America, South America and the Middle East. Life…Continue readingDay of Thanks, Day of Mourning

Paris, Again, in Memory

Paris lunch in the sun As a writer and a traveler, I live twice, in two worlds. I live the moment, and I live it again in words. Sometimes the second life occurs weeks or months later, when I sit to type my journal or piece together a story from days long past. So it…Continue readingParis, Again, in Memory

We Are the Curry

One day while sharing lunch with a couple of the IMMF participants, one of the Burmese journalists looked at the pork on his plate and said that in life, some people are like the meat—one item amid all the other stuff. But we journalists are like the curry, spreading everywhere and covering everything—the meat, the…Continue readingWe Are the Curry

Food at the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) Nature Morte aux Oignons Musée d’Orsay I’m back. What a weird and wonderful world. You wake up one morning to an Edinburgh breakfast of beans, taters, tomato and mushrooms. You catch a train to London, then a plane to Hong Kong, then another to Bangkok. And next thing you know, you’re eating…Continue readingFood at the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay

Easy Garam Masala

Last week, I had to do a little recipe testing for an upcoming article (stay tuned and you can read all about it….). One of the dishes featured this beautiful concoction of toasted spices—homemade, home-ground garam masala. Just the sight of these ingredients evokes fall in my mind—deep, rich earth tones with an equally heady…Continue readingEasy Garam Masala

The Exorcist and his Rice

It’s a cold, crisp morning on the second day of our trek along the India-Nepal border. Wind slaps against the lodge where we slept the previous night, and icicles cling to the rocks outside. But the sun shines brightly, and the trail zigzags upward along a steep switchback course. In time, my body warms and…Continue readingThe Exorcist and his Rice