Several years ago. Okay… Many … we were sitting on the verandah of a hotel overlooking Waikiki beach resting. The mighty Pacific Ocean purred like a Lamborghini in the shimmering distance. Earlier my wife, Janet and I had spent hours walking in Honolulu’s incredible Chinatown. A keen hunger was rising. Soon we entered a restaurant that had an alluring scent carrying out into the sun bedazzled Hawaiian air. An Asian gentleman dining solo near us was served a platter of Chicken Curry. His server demurely lifted strips of shredded chicken from a porcelain serving bowl. She gracefully draped them over a mound of steaming white rice. A curry orange rich cream was then spooned on. The intoxicating aromas wafted over in our direction. I saw the older man smile…. Suddenly he looked like a young man once again.
I have had the fortune to become friends with some of the brightest and most engaging food writers, historians, essayists and scholars in the land. No one shines more brightly on everything related to African and Caribbean foodways than Ms. Jessica Harris. Her books never become dated. The copies I have on my shelves find me revisiting them often over the years. I am in the midst of studying even more deeply than in my past on the ways of the food Jessica, (we are friends so I am using her first name), has written about in her storied life. To hear her speak first hand with that sonorous voice is the very best way … but let me offer a passage from her seminal 1991 book titled, “Sky Juice and Flying Fish” regrading curry.
Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show! Please check out my Instagram photos and my new IG TV cooking videos @normanvanaken