Mother's Day Cake & Cuisine


A Duet cake from La Tulipe, a hazelnut dacquoise with hazelnut and citron mouuse. A svelte Ferrero Rocher vacationing on the Cape.

Mom's Maxims on Food and Eating: Eat it while it's fresh. Don't use a whole napkin when a half-napkin will do. And cooking is an endlessly worldly pursuit.

Mom grew up poor and Chinese in French Madagascar, so much of what we ate was high-low, ethnically unidentifiable, and very delicious. I ate things like beef and potato pancakes (a meatball, latke, and hamburger all in one). Curried achard with veggies cut in the French technique. Avocados smashed with vanilla-scented rum and granulated sugar. Yucca steamed with coconut, sliced, and pan-fried with eggs, like a tropical French toast dim sum.

Frank Bruni recently declared Torrisi the chief force in forging our post-fusion, post-recession, interethnic dining landscape, citing their broccoli rabe with dried scallop and fried rice with prosciutto. But that's the way I've always eaten because of Mom (and Dad, but more on that on Father's Day).

Our flagship Tom Family Recipe is Shambosh, a curried beef samosa with scallions, ginger, garlic, and piripiri pepper, and neatly wrapped in eggroll skin. It tastes of everywhere and no where, and freezes really well, too. Though truthfully, it's best eaten fresh out of the fryer with a squeeze of lime.   


True, I was not the original Mauibamba.