I must have been about nine when I got my first urge to create a meal. I remember proudly boiling white rice and chopped up carrots. I carried it from the pot to the table and distributed it to my parents and grandparents. My mother had a spoonful and pushed it to the side of her plate, carefully telling me she was full. My father was more blunt: I forgot the salt, he told me. I shed some tears over my failure and learned never to make the same faux-pas again. But my grandfather, on the other hand, ate his serving and asked for more. It may not have been a success, but it wasn’t an entire failure either. Fortunately for me, I didn’t give up and continued trying to win over my family’s tastebuds. It worked. By the age of 15, I was cooking New Year’s Eve dinner. I […]