For these Western chefs, a favorite dish reflects how they like to feed their friends, where they grew up, what first brought them into the kitchen. These recipes are what define them
An Alaska fisherman and private chef, Wang owns The Gypsy Fish Company, which sells wild Bristol Bay salmon through goodeggs.com.
"In the winter of 1996, I flew to Homer, Alaska, to help get a boat ready for the herring season out in the Bering Sea. I had just started dating a woman back in New York, and we were going to keep in touch by email. It was March, several degrees below freezing, with snow piled on the sides of the road and moose walking down the plow tracks.
Every day, when the sun came up, my boss and I would work on the nets or fiddle with the boat. You could see your breath in the air. I was wearing insulated full-body coveralls, a hat, and gloves, but the cold bit into my feet and hands.
As time went on, the woman I was dating started slipping away. It was a cold and lonely time.
To warm myself up, I’d volunteer to make dinner. I had five or six go-to dishes that my mother used to make, and one of them was curry. I’d root around in the fridge and pull out whatever we had, start chopping, and let the heat of the spices warm the kitchen. It brought back my 5-year-old self stirring a pot of curry, while my mother chopped and added ingredients.
Curry warms your bones and gets into your clothes. Hours later, on the couch in my sleeping bag, puffs of curried air would waft out whenever I’d turn over. Scent is so tied to memory; it can make you feel at home anywhere."