This is the fourth interview in our series, called Welcome to Tummy Talk. Today we are interviewing Mee Gonzi Biao (GB). GB is a born and bred Long Islander. He’s an avid cook and foodie, and has taken professional cooking classes which helped fuel his passion for Chinese food. He loves trying new dishes and then re-creates them at home. Especially healthy and low-calorie options. He’s got a family of four plus a dog and cat.
GB: Thank you TT. Can I call you T? Actually, my name is Gongzi Biao, but my brothers shortened it to Gonzi as a nickname. The name has grown on me.
TT: Can you tell our readers a bit more about your love of Chinese food?
GB: That’s a long story which I am sure you don’t have time for. In short, as an adult, I realized my love for cooking and I took professional cooking classes to hone my skills. I have been the primary cook in my family for the last 25 years and I love it. I take great pride in analyzing the various dishes that are put in front of us and do my best to understand how the cooks in the kitchen assembled the dish. Sometimes it’s like art.
TT: What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled to enjoy Chinese food?
GB: I travel but I really can’t think of anywhere that I have had Chinese food that rivals the dishes I eat locally. I do like The Hong Kong in Boston but that might be those Scorpion Bowls talking. I think there are enough trained authentic Chinese chefs in the New York area that I could never get tired of the restaurants that are closer.
TT: What in particular is the first impression you take when you enter a Chinese restaurant?
GB: I notice the aroma. There is something about the smells of onion, peppers, garlic, five spice power, and sesame oil as well as all of those other magic ingredients that form the brilliant masterpieces the chef creates. If I walk in and only smell Windex and grease, I know I’m in trouble.
TT: What’s your favorite dish?
GB: I love spicy. If it’s hot, you have my attention. If you pair that with fresh vegetables, that is a home run. I shy away from greasy.
TT: Why the Quest?
GB: I am one to usually ask for a recommendation before going out somewhere. The Quest provides a necessary service for those who may not have a favorite place or want to try something different. We offer suggestions based upon our experience of doing what we love. I am not going to say we have any more skills than the average person but when you go to enough different places, you learn what makes you happy and you think it will make others happy too.
TT: What do you hope to accomplish on the Quest in the coming year?
GB: Continue to explore. To feed my brain with food and knowledge and to do it with those whom I consider my brothers.
TT: What about the future?
GB: As far as Chinese food? Healthier, more guilt free options would be nice. But please, don’t sacrifice the flavor. Is that possible?
TT: Would you ever try a different type of food?
GB: Sure. Given my love of cooking and studying the food I eat, I want to know as much about everything as I can. There are so many nationalities and cuisines that need to be explored I don’t know how I could make enough time for it.
TT: I want to thank you for your time. Are there any parting words you have for our readers?
GB: Do what you love and love what you do. Chow for now…