The Credits: Meet Chef Amit Das

The Credits: Meet Chef Amit Das

The final teacher will not be found in classrooms or at satsangs or preaching in pulpits or at conferences. The final teacher is life itself, and this living teaching only begins when we truly meet what is here with open arms.

How deeply can we meet?

Bring to me your frustration, your confusion, your joy and your pains, your certainties and your doubts, and let us sit together awhile. – Jeff Foster

Lagos, Portugal

As I travel this beautiful world, it is not the beautiful sunrises, beaches, or the food that I that I remember the most.

It is the people. Sometimes, I don’t even speak to them. I simply notice.

The pride that people take in their work. The smiles they offer me.

Bangkok, Thailand

And at other times, I actually get to speak to them. And, when I do, it’s magic.

I feel myself going deeper.

I hear someone’s story, and I am changed. Forever.

And so, I am starting a new series. The Credits.

Just like when you watch a movie, the credits roll by at the end. Without the people listed in the credits, the movie wouldn’t have happened.

Botel from Gili Meno

I want to start sharing their stories with you as a display of gratitude that these people entered my life. I want to honor that connection.

Chef Amit, Dusit Thani Bangkok

Chef Amit

“For me, travel is oxygen. Seeing other’s troubles makes you forget your own.” -Chef Amit

Chef Amit is from India. He started cooking as a small child, helping his mom in the kitchen.  But, he fell in love with cooking when he saw a Korean movie. In this movie, a man cooked the perfect omelet. Chef Amit decided he, too, would make the perfect omelet.

He used so many eggs that his mom kicked him out of the kitchen. I think Chef Amit still has a love for eggs. I met him because when I was getting some quiche from the breakfast buffet of the Dusit Thani, he stopped me, and said I should have a fresh one. He immediately instructed the kitchen to make a new quiche for me.

He has a great love for traveling and has chosen many jobs all over the world just so he could travel. He even took a job on a cruise ship, so he could see more of the world. He worked fourteen-hour days, and then would see what he could of the place where the boat was. He barely got any sleep. He has seen more of the world than I have.

Amit prefers to stay with local people to see how they live. My favorite thing that he said was, “Primitive people are more civilized than the people who think they are civilized. Think about it. They know how to build their own house. They grow their own food. They can do anything.  The only thing “civilized people” know how to do is to login to a computer.”

He’s right, you know. This made me feel gratitude for the home that I grew up in. My parents taught me so much. I helped build the house that my parents live in. My father taught me how to work on my own car, and wouldn’t let me drive until I knew how to change my own oil and tires.  I controlled the yoke of an airplane long before I touched the steering wheel of a car. My mother taught me how to grow and cook my own food. I learned how to grind wheat, how to determine the ripeness of fruits, and how to taste the spices for a stew.  I learned how to collect honey from the hive, and blackberries from vines.  But many people today give no thought to where their food comes from. They give no thought to trying to learn from those who seem to have less than what they have.

Amit had the curiosity of a child, and it was contagious. He, also, gave personal attention to everyone. I came down for breakfast one morning after commenting the day before that I really liked healthy food. He had prepared a special breakfast just for me of salmon with fish roe, artichokes, avocado, and salad. He told me, he cooks because he likes to make people happy.

He gave me a reminder that a whole world lies in the people we pass by each day. A world that I can learn from. But, more than that, he reminded me of the joy that comes from connecting deeply enough with someone, deeply enough that you make them smile with their eyes.