Pop-Up Chef

Genghis Mendoza

SAN FRANCISCO

About Genghis Mendoza

For me, cooking means more than the act of creating a meal. There are aspects to cooking that help define my love affair for creating a dish. It comes down to three main things: love, flavor, technique. My first memory of cooking started when I was four. My mom made fried rice for breakfast. I watched what she did, and a couple days later, she walked in on me using the stove while standing on a chair. I was attempting to recreate that plate of fried rice. My first real enlightenment and love affair with cooking began after dinner at Thomas Keller’s Per Se. That’s when my mind opened up to cooking as an art form. Since that time, my appreciation and wanton lust for cooking has taken over. I try to read books, watch television shows (PBS Saturdays are adult versions of Saturday Morning Cartoons). and learn different cooking techniques. There isn’t one cuisine I particularly love over another, but I think the most creative aspect of cooking is applying each of these different flavor profiles or techniques in the creation of something new. My current infatuation is with modernist cooking techniques. I built my first sous vide machine from SeattleGeek’s blog post, before Sansaire, Nomiku and Annovos were out in the market. I’ve toyed with molecular gastronomy, playing with foams and gels. I’m attempting to tackle Aschatz’ Alinea cookbook, hoping to translate these techniques in a home kitchen. I definitely feel that there are modern techniques that can be applied to a home kitchen, and it’s part of my goal to share those ideas in easy examples for cooks at home. Cooking goes beyond the simple act of it. I’ve fallen in love with the end result of what cooking a meal brings. Breaking bread with family, friends or strangers, enlightens each and everyone at a shared dinner table. At first there’s a common purpose for sitting together, and that’s eating the meal, but soon stories are shared, drinks are had, and new stories, experiences and even friendships are created. And all that can happen with the start of one good meal. Cooking is just a means to that end.