About 16 of us including 3 grandchildren occupied two long dining tables in Ricky and Farah's living room in Phoenix. There were a lots of delicious food: three catered dishes of spare ribs, BBQ chicken and baked salmon.
J.J. and I volunteered to bring salad. We took along 12 different kinds of vegetables plus fruits. I was going to wash, slice and arrange them on a large plate or two.
Vicktor cane to my rescue. At 19, he is balancing his studies at university while working at a restaurant located in an ultra-luxury resort in Paradise Valley as a grill chef. We first met Vicktor about 2 years ago. J.J. and I recall a very self-assured teenager who spoke passionately about his cooking.
Vicktor selected a knife from a kit containing professional looking knives. As Vicktor sliced and chopped, he also soaked some cashew nuts to prepare for a dressing using Tahini. He squeezed, lemon, lime, orange, added ground pepper, and sea salt. This was a real chef in action. I was impressed and mesmerized.
The salad, definitely was the star. Even the chocolate cake and Christmas cookies paled in comparison.
Conversation flowed easily with our kind hosts and their families. J.J. and I appreciate Ricky and Farah's invitation to spend the night, but grateful when they reluctantly agreed for us to sleep in Honu parked in their driveway.
Aloha -- Cathi