Hi! I’m Henry. By day, I am an accountant. By night, you can find me exploring into the design and food realms through books and Instagram. Yes, I am one of those who you would find swiping through food blogs on my daily BART commutes. Cooking has always been a big part of my life ever since I first made my own bowl of fried rice.
My favorite memories as a kid has been times when my mom and aunts gathered together with my grandma to make enough potstickers for each family to last for weeks. When my parents first immigrated to the States, after an unsuccessful search for a job in the Bay Area and not speaking a lick of English, they headed for Guerneville (of all places, right?) to seek an opportunity to open up a small restaurant business inside a local bar. What was the most sell-out dish? None other than my grandma’s potstickers! Unfortunately, after the infamous flood of 1986, my family inevitably moved back to Oakland.
Food has always been the center of my family and so essential that it has been engrained into our name! No kidding! My last name “Pan” in Chinese literally translates to a “dish” (every Chinese teacher I have had questioned whether if I made this name up for myself). Weird, right? Not really considering some people are named “soup” or “bun”. And even in Spanish or Japanese, my last name translates into “bread” (yes, my Spanish teachers have also had a handful of laughter from doing roll-call). But anyways, I believe this has been the explanation as to why I am so passionate about food, whether I am eating or cooking it. Live to eat, am I right? Grocery stores, restaurant supply stores, farmer’s markets…they all give me a special high!
Everything about cooking, I learned from my family, self-study research, and random cooking classes. Besides cooking seminars, I never went to professional culinary school (though, I ask myself even to this day if I should have gone down that path). From watching my grandma prepare dumplings to my parents cooking traditional Cantonese food, I picked up elements of Chinese cuisine. And from flipping through cookbooks like Ina Garten’s to reading food blogs like Delicious Martha, I expanded (and still am) my repertoire in other cuisines.
I truly believe anyone can cook. Just a small dedication of time each day and it becomes a second nature. In the.pancooks, I try to break down even the most daunting recipe so anyone can also experience the passion for food that I have (and to gain a good survival skill). So, join with me on my culinary journey and let’s start cooking!