The super rough-hewn, incredibly primitive kitchens 'round the world - those are the kinds of melting pots that manage to sling out mind-altering food. It's not the high tech, it's not the most advanced. Never has been, never will be.
This kitchen belongs to Am, my 4th World Love Field Director over in Indonesia. His beautiful wife expertly manages a handful of meals pumping out of here every single day - for the whole extended family that happen to live on the premises and share everything. Flavors you've never tasted, spices you've never heard of. Deep unstoppable groans of utter joy with every spoonful. Food pleasure is the ultimate global language in my eyes.
Cut to me in NJ, still working on this TV show. We just have a few weeks left and the one shining light in all of it - I've managed to discover some sick, sick food. Everything from Afghan to Cuban to Portuguese. I've got my favorite Mexican bodega where I grab cafe con leche and practice my Spanish. There's the Cuban buffet that makes my heart flutter every time I remember the thick, caramely flan and the dancing owner. There's the happy folks in Planet Chicken that we cater from - it's all about the paella there. Across the street is the Portuguese BBQ joint - think huge chunks of BBQ salmon. I've slurped down Thai iced tea from the Gods, and the Italian is always superior, no matter where you dine.
Go figure - a strip mall of dirty cities in Central NJ - tastebud haven.
That said, I CANNOT WAIT TO BOLT!!! And, never return.