My friend, Flo Oy Wong, the artist who grew up in her parents' family restaurant in Oakland, and contributed a narrative about that experience in my book, Sweet and Sour, suggested that I attend the annual potluck of the Association of Chinese Cooking Teachers that would be held in Alameda. I was flattered that I might be invited, but not sure that I could handle a group of "Chinese cooking teachers." I dealt with history and the lives of restaurant families and worried that this group would want to know about cooking styles and techniques, about which I knew precious little. However, I was reassured that the themes of my book would be of great interest to them.
I had a wonderful time. Not only were the people delightful and gracious, but the food was delicious and plentiful in quantity. Several impressive food cooking demonstrations were presented including melon carving and noodle 'pulling.' Flo Oy and I teamed up at the conclusion to give a presentation about 'Sweet and Sour" that was warmly received.