Why did I get into food in the first place? That’s easy. Because I love to eat. It’s that simple. But the other question people always want to ask me is “Why did you want to become a chef?” To me that answer was just as simple–I believed that being a chef would allow me to eat and drink my way around the globe and meet some amazing people at the same time.
Which brings me to our trip to Cambodia in December and January of 2010-2011. My wife, Laura, and I …wait a second…I must digress. She is my best friend, loving wife and culinary soul mate. She is also a chef. No shit, of course she is. And get this, she is a better chef than I am in so many ways, it’s crazy. But the most important part of this digression is that she loves food as much as I do.
Anyway, back to the story. It makes me smile every time I see these pictures. Why you might ask. I’m not an adrelaline junkie, so I am never ever going to jump out of a plane. This is the closest thing for me to livin’ on the edge. Eating some crazy ass chili garlic fried GIANT SPIDER.
We were taking a bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to see the truly amazing must see before you die ruins known as Angkor Wat. We stopped for a quick break and the second the doors of the bus open, we were greeted by 3 really cute girls that looked maybe 11 years old but were in fact 16. “Hello mister, you so beautiful, you like we show you around?” Come on how could I refuse an outdoor food market in the middle of nowhere. The girl’s name was Winnie and man was she fantastic guide. The first thing I remember is her showing me a huge platter of these chili garlic fried giant spiders. Pretty cool, but then she has the old lady lift the platter to show a freakin’ ass bucket full of LIVE river tarantulas to show that they were indeed very fresh.
Come on! I just have to try one, it was only the equivelent of 40 cents after all. So the first bite was pretty damn good. Kind of like slightly crispy beef jerky. But the real shitter (if you know what I mean!) was the body, because it was full of eggs, little tiny bitter crunchy explosions in my mouth. Pretty gnarly, but one hell of a great food experience. Talk about feeling alive! Thanks Winnie!!!