One of my staff asked me if I could cook any cuisine in the world. I thought about it for only a moment, considered, and I realized that… Yes: I can cook any cuisine in the world. Now, if that sounds like an arrogant claim, take it in proper context. If a recipe is in English and I can read it, then yeah…I can cook any cuisine.

The question you need to ask is: how well?

Look, I’m tooting my own horn here a little bit, but hey–I can read and follow written instructions. So yes I can cook anything, but there are obviously so many additional factors involving experience, kitchen skills, general familiarity with the cuisine and its benchmarks, and hopefully a pretty good palate. So maybe I won’t know the basics of Swedish cuisine or the flavor profiles of Ethiopian food, but I’ve at least got some kitchen chops and the wherewithal to just do it.

I’ve had some failures, but maybe my secret is simply the willingness to dive in and cook. Go for it. After all…it’s just food.

So this morning when my wife asked for beef Donburi it was met with aplomb. I’ve made it before, many times, usually the same way so…of course, I had to make it differently this time. This, of course, set my wife on edge immediately.

“Differently?!? You said you were making beef Donburi!”

“…yeeeah, but it still has beef, it still has the sweet and savory notes, and onions…”

“Where are the green onions? You’re using regular onions–”


And so it went. She relaxed, gave me a compensating kiss, and I proceeded. We ate it, she confessed that she loved it. She even added oshinko red pickles. Great recipe. Good results, and she gets the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.