Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Bring your tongs and apron for the BIG cook-out

Posted by Kimberly on July 2, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
July 2, 2007, page 6 (787 words)

The Macau Tower, in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce, is hosting a 4th of July cook-out and everyone’s invited.
Mark Horan, General Manager of Macau Tower, spoke to the Macau Daily Times about the true essence of the quintessential cook-out and his hopes for local participation.
“Americans are very creative in how we celebrate things.
“If you come on Wednesday night you’ll see some of the American humour, the signage that we have for some of the food,” he said.
He added that this was not the first time such an event had been held in Macau, noting that the Westin used to host it previously, with the Tower doing so for the first time last year.
“We’ve created menus from different parts of the United States [US].
“Like in the North-east, we have clam chowder, we have Boston baked beans, then when you go down South, you have grilled chicken. the mid-West is beef.
“We’re going to have a huge rump-round, which is a leg of beef that we’re going to have on the buffet. A lot of it is BBQ,” he said.
The Tower will actually be bringing in corn all the way from the United States, to represent the mid-West tradition.
“Unfortunately watermelons are very expensive because they’re heavy so we’re bringing the watermelons in from Australia which is very similar to the US watermelon,” he said.
It’s not so much the authenticity of the food, he’s quick to stress, as the chef is German, it’s about gaining an understanding of the types of food that make up the United States.
“People say ‘what is American food?’ You have the Irish, the French, the Italians that came over. “[People] might think of TGIF [restaurant chain Thank God It’s Friday] or the Cheesecake Factory. “If you’re from the mid-West it’s meat and potatoes.
“If you’re from the East coast it’s seafood.
“This gives people an understanding of the type of food that we have and what we have on offer,” he said.
“So it’s basically giving people an opportunity and an environment to enjoy the style of food in the US.
“At the same time, you’re creating an environment for them to enjoy eating. It’s not formal, it’s very casual and we’ll have a band there that will play music,” he said.
Picnic tables will be set up for parents to bring along their children and a time for the local community to get together and meet Americans living in Macau.
According to Reggie Martin, US Consulate Warden in Macau, there are about 1,200 US citizens resident in Macau, including those that are now Macau citizens but have American passports.
The American Chamber of Commerce is assisting with the promotion, which includes printing T-shirts and caps with the American flag.
“It’s just a very fun style. You’ll see the waiters and waitresses and chefs will have very aprons with American memorabilia on it,” said Mr Horan.
According to Mr Horan, about 200 people came to the event last year, the small number largely due to the lack of media advertising of the event.
“This year we decided we wanted to let everybody know,” he said.
“What we do to provide value for money for our guests is, you can eat all you want for MOP 250 and it’s quality food.
“You can drink all you want from when you come in to when you leave and then you have entertainment,” he said
Sponsorship was gained to obtain the decorations and the cost of the band.
It’s not all for the kids though.
“We have what we call a California daiquiri bar, where people can try different flavoured daiquiris.
“We have vodka melon for adults only. It’s basically watermelon that had vodka inside it,” said Mr Horan.
In future, Mr Horan said he would like to see sponsorship occurring from American companies.
“What we can possibly do next year, if we have enough time in advance, is to seek sponsorship from some of the American companies in Macau or even Hong Kong and put on a fireworks show,” he said.
“As the event grows over time you could bring in jazz music from New Orleans, Dixieland from the south, rock’n’roll.
“We could get sponsorship from American companies like Hard Rock to be able to do different types of music and create more of an atmosphere,” he said.
The event is likely to be held outside, should the weather prevail, between 6pm and 11pm on Wednesday, although provisions have been made for any sudden changes.
“The best thing is, a BBQ or cook-out is meant to be outside but we can’t control mother nature!” he said.

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