ABOUT THIS CHANNEL
Greetings all. I am Mateo, nice to meet you. Each Friday, I am cooking live inside my kitchen-studio located in wonderful, vibrant Vietnam. Please join me every Friday at 6pm (Vietnam time), for delicious recipes from around the world.
What’s my story?
I use very simple ingredients and techniques to create “grandmother style” dishes, … quick, cheap, delicious, filling, nutritious food able to feed a football team if required. If you are looking for fancy, sophisticated, classical recipes, you may want to find a classic chef somewhere else. I am just a simple every-day cook. My recipes may not always look beautiful on the plate or inside the bowl, but the taste will keep you coming back for more. Simple food anyone can prepare at home easily is what I do.
Some of my early memories about food and cooking were of my Hungarian great grandmother and my five aunts buzzing around, helping my grandmother Margaret inside her modest kitchen in Gary, Indiana. Outside the kitchen, there were always dozens of hungry relatives and neighborhood hopefuls waiting to eat. I would sit there in her kitchen and observe the show … and eat a lot. They always gave me the first taste of whatever was boiling, baking, broiling or being chopped up and prepared inside a huge family-size serving bowls.
That was back in the 1970s. Over time, while growing into my teen years in Northern California (San Francisco Bay Area), my elder sister and I learned well how to cook. Our single mom was working very hard long hours to make it in the radio broadcast industry. In those days, if we wanted to eat, we often had to cook it ourselves. We did. We also had our little brother and sister to feed, so we did. We all can cook very well today thanks to those experiences as young chefs, and we do.
Then, in 1988 I was serving in the military as a US Marine assigned to an artillery unit at a large camp near the resort city of San Diego, California. I was so lucky, because the military base was located just a few miles from my Polish grandmother’s house, and her kitchen. As a hungry 21-year-old private, I would head straight to grandmother’s house after a hard day of working-training on base, and she would feed me like a king. She loved to cook for me, and I’d keep her company in the kitchen.
Once my Marine Corps buddies discovered my secret retreat, they would sometimes ask me if they could tag along for a home-cooked meal. My grandmother fed anyone who entered her home in Northern San Diego county. Her food was soooooo tasty! Her kitchen was her alter, even though she was a devout Roman catholic woman. I learned a lot about “Grandmother style” cooking from her.
I have traveled the globe for 18 years as a career military photojournalist, history writer, and later civilian artist and basic globetrotter … always looking outward to learn about new foods and cooking techniques. I need to know what “smells so damn good” when exploring new places and cultures. Hard to resist checking out what’s in the pot, when walking past kitchens, restaurants, or street-food vendors and the aroma hits my nostrils. I have lived and worked in more than 12 countries including: Japan, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, Yap, Guam, Pohnpei, Korea, Okinawa, Hawai’i, Kuwait and Iraq.
In Okinawa, Tokyo and Miura-Hanto, Japan — where I lived and worked for nearly 10 years — I learned so may new concepts and techniques about innovative Japanese-style culinary creations, which can be achieved with a variety of meat, fish, vegetables, spices, roots, nuts, etc. I was very impressed by the way Japanese behave with their culinary efforts.
I am very very happy you found your way to my new channel, and my kitchen in Vietnam. Welcome. I invite you and your friends to join me every Friday. We are going to have a great time in my kitchen. We will share stories, thoughts about ingredients and technique, tell jokes and laugh, maybe yell about something, and maybe even cry … if the onions or chili peppers are too strong.
Vietnam has amazing produce; as well as super fresh pork, beef, and chicken, butchered fresh daily. The variety of ocean and river fish available all throughout the country in small traditional markets is truly special. Nearly every spice or herb needed to cook cuisine from any part of the world is available in the big cities of HCMC, Hanoi, Da Nang, Da Lat, Na Trang, and elsewhere.
Hope to see you next Friday, and I hope you will bring your appetite and your sense of humor, curiosity. and commentary.
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Time to eat.
It’s gonna be … soooooo good!