Category: backstory

Chef John Hall: from Insomnia Pizza to Post Office Pies, from contemporary American cuisine in North Avondale to ?…

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Sandy and I met up with Chef John Hall in his modest North Avondale home. Always a host, he offered us drinks as we chatted around his dining table. Almost as soon as we began talking, John let out a laugh and told us, “I never talk this much.” I do believe John may be on the quiet side at times – for example, in last week’s post, I describe his shy, reserved demeanor while serving us at our recent meal. But John is anything but quiet when it comes to his love for food, his cooking philosophy, and his...

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No Secret Menu – the story of Great Wall

This is the story of Great Wall, and also the story of Sunny. Sunny is Great Wall’s owner, and she has been the face of the restaurant for decades. If you have ever been to Great Wall, you have probably been greeted by her always-cheerful personality and warm smile as she takes you to your table. Last week, in between calls for take-out orders and teaching her American customers Chinese one word at a time, Mr Foodie and I had the opportunity to talk to Sunny about her passion for bringing “high-class,” “authentic” Chinese food to Birmingham. History of Great...

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The Backstory: Sushi Village 2

A passion for sushi Owen Ou’s passion for sushi began 20 years ago in the kitchen of famed Iron Chef Morimoto‘s restaurant in Manhattan. Originally  from China, Ou moved to the US as a teenager with his parents.  At age 17, he had just finished school, and recalls searching the internet for a job just “to make some money.”  With no prior interest in the restaurant industry – he didn’t even know who Morimoto was – he landed a job as one of his dishwashers. This early experience helped shape the direction of his career. Morimoto recognized Ou’s hardworking spirit and soon began to...

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