My name is Ivy Dai and I’m a chef and food writer from Los Angeles. For the last 15 months, I have been on the road. It was an accident actually – I moved to Paris in 2012 to pursue my dream of living in the world center of gastronomy, but somehow I found myself in the south of France, Italy, Greece, and Spain, luxuriating in the freshest fish and vibrant produce of the Mediterranean, then off to Singapore, Asia’s food capital, Thailand, Bali, Taiwan, Italy and back to France again (I missed the bread).
Two things I love in life: food and travel. Always changing, never ending, I love the overload of sights, smells and adventure. But what I enjoy the most about my two passions is the people I meet along the way. There are people I have broken bread with who have forever changed the culinary and personal landscape of my life.
When I travel food is my common denominator. It’s a language everyone understands. I scour the world for amazing experiences and flavors. My first trip was in China where I hunted down Shanghainese hairy crab and animal penis hot pot. When I lived in Louisiana, I tried fried okra and butter soaked yams and the best burgers with Guinness gravy.
The penultimate of my food experiences have been in France, a country near and dear to my heart. Here, even the common plumber can wax philosophic about his favorite desserts and has a more discerning palate than most. Naturally seasoned lamb that munches on salty grass by the ocean in Normandy and cooked over the fire in the dining room; a gut-busting euphoric yet cheap meal in Lyon, gastronomic capital of France. I experimented with Franco-Japanese fusion as I was the chef of an organic cafe in the Marais.
My most recent adventure was cheffing on private yachts, where I had the pleasure of sourcing magnificent local produce and products from small port towns in the Mediterranean.
So on this blog, I want to share with you the rich culture and varied flavors and experiences I have shared along the way. What really makes my food moments stand out are the people behind the food, and I will take you along as I enter in food enthusiasts homes and kitchens. As well as share all the weird funny cross-cultural mishaps. So hold on, it’s going to be an exhilarating ride!!
Dai trained in France and at the Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles. She is the founder of Dragon Dinners, Chinese cooking classes for home cooks. Her articles have been published in the LA Daily News and Time Out Beijing. She has appeared on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” and lives in Paris.