Weekend Musings (10-April-2010)

Today is a big day for Suanne and I. It is the day of the 8GTCC Dinner. Today is also the filming of the documentary on chowtimes. It is all exciting.

But this morning I woke up and found that I am running on fumes. Yesterday was a particularly long day dealing with issues at work. Then coming home, found that there are 70 emails to deal with. But this is all fun work for me. Oh yeah, tomorrow I sleep … I just gotta grind through one more day.

So I asked Suanne the other day why did I subject myself to this. She did not say a word and just smiled. She knows thats who I am. I love organizing and planning and bringing people together. That is why I am a Project Manager.

When I was in my early twenties, I organized a full day city tour for 700 teenagers. It was a logistical nightmare planning and executing it. With 15 buses and 7 separate routes and timings, it was just a challenge getting everyone on the buses and leaving on time. Then it was tracking the whereabouts of each group throughout the day. Miraculously, everyone got to the city square at night. He he he … we did not lose a single person. I know this is strange … but this is the sort of things I like to do.

The 8GTCC Dinner

The plans are all finalized and I had sent out a final email to everyone attending last night. There will be 52 attending. The response was overwhelming. It was difficult for us that we could not accommodate everyone who responded. At one point, we wanted to take over the restaurant but the restaurant owner did not want to do this because it will mean turning away her regular customers.Alvin-Garden-Burnaby-20-150x150So we ended up with 52 because of the format of the table setting and the dishes selected. This will be a feast with 4 appetizers and 14 dishes! Oh … that is not including the dessert, courtesy of the pastry chef of the Golden Great Wall restaurant. Zhujiang Beer is also sponsoring the event. Alvin Garden is also chipping in to give us a special soup. All this is gonna cost only $20 per person. Beauty, right?

The menu will include two award winning dishes. It was just earlier this week that the Chinese Restaurant Award awarded them gold and silver for two of their dishes. Also in the mix is white chili — ultra hot and was told that it is only available in Alvin Garden. Last but not least, there is a Hunan dish that will make men smarter and women more beautiful.

The 8GTCC team worked hard on this event. Each of them had been incredibly committed to this event and had so unselfishly given their own time and expenses. There is no way I could have pulled this off on my own.

FacebookChowtimes-Facebook-Fan-Page-150x150Last week I set up a chowtimes Fan Page on Facebook. I was all set up getting 25 fans just so that I could stake a claim on the vanity URL.

The response was beyond my expectation. After just 6 days we already have 100 people “fanning” the page. Are you on Facebook? If you are, you want to “fan” chowtimes? The fan page is on http://facebook.com/chowtimes. You can also do a search for “chowtimes” on the facebook search widget — just look for the red pepper chili.

I don’t quite know what I am really gonna do with this fan page. I am thinking it should have different content … lighter content … friend stuff and such. Let me think more about it.

Free Stuff

We had accumulated quite a few coupons to give away — it is something I think most of you will enjoy. We will let you know on the details later.

For now, there is something you might want to check out tomorrow (Sunday, April 11th). Miki Japanese Ramen is offering free samples of their new Chicken Ramen. Please note this is a sample and not a full serving. I had never been to Miki before nor tasted it and so I am unable to tell you much about it.

More Chowtimes Events?Chicken-Feet-150x150I have a few events up my sleeve. One of which is the Kopi Luwak tasting. That one, I think I can finalize the details sometime next week.

There was a few request for me to organize an Extreme Dim Sum event in the Fortune House blog post. My definition of Extreme Dim Sum is just NOT siu mai and har gow. Something like specialty dim sum dishes with push carts. Something for the more adventurous foodie who will not ask me “what is in it?”

I can easily organize one for chowtimes readers but I would like see a show of hands how many of you are interested to attend. This will be along the line of a weekend brunch. Anyone?

In Closing

I guess everyone knows now the new KFC Double Down “sandwich”. This is the type of food I will absolutely try. Would you?

This is set to be available nationwide in the USA starting Monday next week. I just got the word that KFC has no plans to bring this into Canada.


Alright … that’s it for this week.

Eat well.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Karl

    Hi Ben, looking forward to tonight’s feast! Also, I would love to take part in the Fortune House event, if there’s room. See you tonight!

  2. Darlene Clarke

    Hey Ben and Suanne,
    Wow! The Hunan dinner was fantastic. I had never tasted this type of cuisine before and really enjoyed the experience. I hope to make a return trip to the restaurant in the not too distant future. Yes, I am interested in the extreme dim sum eat-out too. I’ve enjoyed your postings for the last year and have even tried some of the recipes. Many thanks for all that you both do. I also look forward to the launch of Suanne’s cookbook.
    Cheers, Darlene

    1. Ben

      Hi Darlene:
      Thanks for coming out to join in the dinner. He he he … I really gotta think about the extreme dim sum thing. Like what does it really mean. I’ll keep you posted!

  3. timetochow

    wow Ben 70 emails? get some much needed rest.
    didnt work for me.

    just a thought:
    FB has an event feature you can use to manage and promote future events.
    imho, FB can be more interactive than the current format of replying to your threads. though not sure how many of your current fans are on FB.

    anyways, going to Manila Barbecue today, hope not too long of a line up. 😀 .

    1. Ben

      Hi Timetochow:
      I’ve fixed the link to the Ramen Slurping Poster. It was a PDF and forgot I need to treat the link a bit differently.

    1. Ben

      Thanks Eric! I’ve fixed it.

    2. Eric

      You should had took advantage of today, and slept in! 🙂

  4. Ben,
    I might have a suggestion for a Fujian venue. If you want, I’ll ask around and get back to you on this?

    Also, I wish to thank you again for a wonderful evening last night. It was great fun meeting food bloggers and non-bloggers — people with a great love of food!

    Extreme dimsum? I remember when I was a kid we used to go to this place with armadillos (or a similar armoured-type animal) in cages. I don’t recall if I ever ate an armadillo though. One thing I want to eat is pig’s brains. It was quite yummy. Any idea where they serve it?

    1. Ben

      Hi JS:
      Would be great if you could help us find a Fujian place.
      As for pigs brain, my mum used to make omelettes with them for me. I loved that a lot. I think we should be able to get pig brain here in Vancouver but I don’t think in a restaurant though!
      Thanks for coming to the dinner and being the live-wire of the table. LOL!

  5. Michelle

    Hi Ben and Suanne,
    Dinner was fantastic….what a feast!!!
    Arvind and I would definitely be interested in an extreme dim sum event if you were to organize it.
    Congratulations on all your successes.

  6. Eric

    Hey Ben. Long time reader, first time poster. Extreme Dim Sum sounds great, but if you can accommodate a university student’s schedule by having it in May, that would be awesome!

  7. grayelf

    I eat a fair bit of dim sum and have since I was a kid but still consider myself uninitiated :-). That event would be fun.

    I still love to go to cart places but have learned the value of ordering both off menu and on spec. And of course it is always worthwhile to grab a new item as it rolls by –you never know what you’ll get. We recently did this and it turned out to be a durian pastry ;-).

  8. Karl

    Sorry I had to cut out early, Ben. That was a wonderful, well-designed feast. Cannot wait for Round 2!

  9. Shelley

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you for organizing the dinner last night! Lisa and I really had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed the Hunan feast. It was such a pleasure meeting our fellow table mates who share similar passion for good food! Looking forward to future dining events.

  10. grayelf

    I’ve had pig brains twice at Fuel before it rebranded, so they are “gettable” it appears :-).

  11. grayelf

    I don’t think so, LR, but it was at the pig feast which I was lucky enough to attend twice. First time the brains were inside a ravioli, second they were served with scrambled eggs…

  12. karengd

    Hi Ben & Suanne

    Thanks for organizing a great dining experience! The food was amazing – so many things we would never have known to order. We can’t wait for the next food adventure – and yes we are interested in Extreme Dim Sum!

    Thanks also to all our table mates – you all really made the evening fun & enjoyable!

    1. Ben

      Testicle soup? LOL! We had been there before but had not noticed it before. Thanks for the tips, Jonnek.

    1. Ben

      Hi Crispy: I am actually looking forward to this in Canada and want to see Canadians’ reaction to them. Monday next week, huh? Ben

    2. Buddha Girl

      YES!!! Buddha Boy is so excited!!!
      Buddha Boy + Deep-Fried + Bacon = Forever Love
      (Buddha Girl = #2)

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