One of Mr. Wu’s most most photogenic dishes–as well as one of the tastiest and healthiest, is his artistic rendering of dark green spinach, snowy white tofu, and brown rice topped with a nutty sprinkle of richly hued yellow bean, and lightly garnished with a confetti of green onion.
One of Mr. Wu’s gifts as a chef is his ability to create synergistic tastes and textures using simple and ordinary ingredients. There’s quite a lesson to be learned in his treatment of basic elements for me–both as a person and as an artist.
I knew a film producer once who made the pilgrimage to LA when he was young and ambitious. He took a demo reel with him, and when he showed it to someone at one of the major studios, he explained to the bigwig that he had been forced to work with a very limited budget.
“Really?” the exec asked, “Tell me then what you would have done if you’d had an unlimited budget to work with?”
Leo says that was when the light really dawned for him, and that it was a lesson he would never forget. Leo suddenly realized that he could not really think of anything else he would have done differently.
He had to admit to himself that it was not really a lack of money that had limited him, but his own limitations.
It was the moment that changed his career. He went back home and worked harder and reached for a higher level of creativity and soon became a sought after film maker and producer.
That’s what Mr. Wu’s tofu and spinach says to me.
It says it isn’t what you have. It’s what you do with what you have.
Mr. Wu’s tofu says, “It’s up to you.”
To see a current demo of Leo’s work: http://www.ltpro.com/LTPdemo.html