About the author

Everything you want to know

Hey, I’m Alex, and I’m the creator of HIOFT Gourmet.

Although I’m originally from Europe, upon graduating high school I decided to study abroad in Tokyo, where I completed a degree in language studies. I then went on to work as an English teacher and ultimately ended up getting a job as a translator in the field of finance, counting as clients some of the country’s largest companies – some of them having widespread brand recognition even internationally.

I dabbled in cooking during my college years, alternating between a fascination with authentic recipes (to this day I still use pasta carbonara as a barometer for good Italian cooking, as very few restaurants seem to get it right) and a passion for fusion cuisine.

This trend only intensified after I entered the work force and especially after I switched jobs: the very demanding nature of the work meaning I really started to value weekends and holidays as a rare opportunity for leisure. This invariably meant traveling and consuming good food.

During this period I also ran a YouTube channel on a completely unrelated topic, as it didn’t occur to me at the time to share my gastronomic explorations with the outside world. Gradually, this started to change, as I developed an interest in the history of restaurants (which in their current form are a surprisingly modern invention) and in cuisines and recipes across time and different cultures.

Most people are familiar with the history of the lobster and its Cinderella-like transformation from less-than-desirable food to exquisite delicacy, but the more I read, the more I realized just how common these stories are.

These stories and anecdotes abound, be it ketchup and its origins as a condiment made from mushrooms, fish, and walnuts, or the fact that the banana cultivar we eat nowadays is not the same one people used to eat even less than a century ago.

Oh, and that story about lobster? Well, it’s true it was originally not viewed in a favorable light by the inhabitants of New England, but that doesn’t mean this perception ever held true across all cultures and time periods: from the Romans, to the Vikings, to the people of South America – lobster was considered a popular food and even a delicacy in some parts of the world.

This desire to deepen my knowledge and share what I learned formed the genesis of HIOFT Gourmet.
I decided to start a blog exploring culinary topics from an analytical point of view, combined with my personal travel log.

For example, in late 2019 my job brought me to Hawaii for a few days, giving me the opportunity to visit Alan Wong’s in Honolulu shortly before it closed permanently.

I remember it being an enjoyable meal and I even took a couple of pictures, but in hindsight I wish I had taken the experience more seriously, channeled my inner Michelin Guide inspector, and taken copious tasting notes.

That ship has sailed when it comes to that particular eating establishment, but I learned my lesson and decided to start documenting my travel and restaurant experiences, as well as reconstructing records of other trips for which itineraries, pictures, and videos remain.

Join me as we explore the wonders and depth of world gastronomy and travel.