Where in the world is this?
If not unique, you could say this scene is pretty specific to Hong Kong. This is the preparation and cooking area of a local dai paai dong or street side eatery. Simple enough. All the food has been prepared beforehand, a central tenant of most Asian cooking.
The lady nearest to camera is packing flat noodles into lunch boxes – the staple of office workers who usually stop by to pick up a lunch box and a drink of their choice. The chef will cook up a selection of meals – either to order to as part of prepacked lunch box. His cooking actions are typically fast and furious – wash down the wok, slop in some oil, slop in some sauce and then, the ingredients, stir up, toss up and dispatch, slosh out the wok and start all over again. The roar of the kerosene fired cooker seems to add to the urgency and fury of his actions.
These street eateries are usually family run businesses – husbands, wives, mothers and fathers and, from time to time, the children if they’re not at school or studying.
A health hazard? Hardly. No worse than any closed kitchen elsewhere. At least here you get to see what you’ve ordered, watch it get cooked and then, get to it whatever you chose in view of all. There’re no fridges here. The turn over here is too fast for anything to spoil. At the end of the meal period – breakfast, lunch or dinner – everything is usually cleaned and packed up and, if you didn’t know it, you wouldn’t even know if there was a restaurant here. Besides, if there were any health issues, word would spread quickly enough to put the operation out of business – such is life on the streets of Hong Kong. Enjoy…
You can find out more about Rogan and why he does what he does here on his ‘Artist Statement’ page.
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originally written and posted on 140419 – reposted on 190119