Ming Tsai with Macy’s Culinary Council

It seems like these days in our house, we’ve gotten stuck in a dinner recipe rut. Summer’s here and all of my meal plans have  gone “out the window” and been replaced with hamburgers, hotdogs, cold-cut sandwiches and too much drive through take-out then I should admit. Not to mention, when I do “cook” if you could actually call it that, we use the same menus with very few ingredients. Cooking a meal with a toddler at my feet is like a dog chasing its tail, then sticking its dirty paws in all the ingredients.

I recently got invited to an event hosted by the Macy’s Culinary Council featuring Chef Ming Tsai who provided a cooking demonstration followed by a meet and greet with a recipe book signing. Even though I know some of the Food Network contributors, Next Iron Chef, what’s that? In all honestly I didn’t know who he was, but I jumped at the opportunity to get some adult time alone.  All of the  friends I told where I was going knew who he was, and while we were waiting for him to start, the elderly lady sitting behind me was pretty much professing her undying love for him to a friend and it didn’t take me long to be enamored with his intelligence and humor either.

The event was held right in the kitchen section of the Macy’s in Downtown Crossing in Boston. In all seriousness, I loved watching the demonstration. Though the first recipe included shrimp, and I have a seafood intolerance, Ming was extremely funny and the demonstration in itself was really helpful to learn about various ingredients and how to prepare them. Anyone can attend these events and afterwards we received a free $10 gift card, which I used towards the purchase of the cookbook, Simply Ming: One Pot Meals. Part of the even also included a meet and greet, where Ming posed for a photo with me and signed my new cookbook. Needless to say I haven’t cooked any recipes from it yet, I was inspired again to try to use more fresh ingredients and add a little novelty to our menu, plus it was the perfect event to start a fun, girls night out.

Aside from some new ingredients, learning about Asian cuisine and sampling some tasty treats, I was really interested to hear that Ming is the national spokesperson for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.  I have several friends with children who have significant food allergies which don’t allow them to ever get a chance to eat without concern in a restaurant. As an owner of a restaurant, Blue Ginger and a parent to a child who had significant food allergies, Ming has developed a free 60 page resource material for restaurants to develop protocols around serving and hosting people with food allergies and reducing contact with allergens.

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