Monday, September 20, 2021
Farewell lunch at Le Pan with my colleagues after 9 years working for the same company
After 9 years working for the same company
As a tradition in Hong Kong, (and elsewhere in some other countries of the world too), my colleagues invited me to a "farewell" lunch at Le Pan Apicius, the fine dining French restaurant of the company, in the office building, located at Kowloon Bay. The company that I left, on my own decision, after 9 years of good and loyal services.
The lunch was somewhat unexpected, as I was not sure if my colleagues will do anything for me, needless to say, pay for a farewell lunch for me. I'm saying that as I'm not the most enjoyable nor the most pleasant guy to work with. I'm usually quite loud and obnoxious, strict, tough and direct, as, I usually like to get the job done and cannot deal with all the "BS" that can often comes with it.
The fact is that I barely have any friends, and I often see, (or even qualify), myself, as being both "anti-social" and "socially-impaired", as, usually, people have difficulties to cope with me, my character and/or my personality.
I was even told recently, that my blunt, rough, "in-your-face" honesty and way of speaking to most people (in general), is quite surprising, often annoying, difficult to hear and not necessarily welcome nor accepted by most people. And, as that's how most people I know see me, it must be true so then.
Consequently, I was not too sure if my colleagues will do anything for me. And frankly, I was the one who invited them first, with the intention to pay for them, (not them to pay for me), just to, at least, say goodbye the right way, despite the fact that I may have been the worst asshole they ever worked with (my reputation usually precedes me, everywhere I go).
However, they did and the lunch was really enjoyable, fun and relaxed. Maybe they were just polite or, maybe, (and, note that I said "maybe"), maybe I'm not that bad after all. I do not know. I'll let you be the judge of that if we meet one day. And, if that day occurs, do not hesitate to be honest with me, I can take it. 😉
Anyhow, the food was great (Chef Edward Voon and his team are always doing wonders, if you ask me) and the wines, (that we tasted blind), were really interesting.
Domaine Lapierre "Raisins Gaulois" Beaujolais 2018 (@domainelapierre)
As we were tasting blind, I had a moment of hesitation, and I first mistaken it for a Pinot Noir on the nose. It was a delight for the taste buds: clean, fresh, zesty, light, crisp, cherry and raspberry notes, with a juicy mouthfeel, well balanced and textured. Definitely my type of summer red wine. Loooooooooooved it. And, at this price, it is even better. It is a steal actually, as you can fill up your cellar without your wallet breaking a sweat. 😉😁👍🍷
Azienda Agricola Cogno Barolo "Cascina Nuova" 2007 (@elvio_cogno)
I did not know what to think at first, as the color showed a bit of age and the nose was "pruny" (old wrinkled plum) with some very distinct tertiary aromas (leather, saddle wood, underbrush). My olfactory memories brought me straight to Italy, but I wasn't sure where exactly, while one of my colleague was thinking Bordeaux. I knew it was not Bordeaux, it smelled too Mediterranean, and definitely not like home for me (I'm from Bordeaux for those who may have not realised it or did not know).
So, I was hesitating between Tuscany and Piedmont. As the nose seemed more reminiscent of an old Tuscan wine, I said Tuscany, but of course it was Piedmont. Not at its best condition, yet still interesting and drinkable, but definitely reached its peak (IMO), unless the bottles we drank suffered from some heat at some point, which may have accelerated the evolution of the wine.
Thank you Sam for the lunch (he paid for it) and Martin for the company (he ate the food and did the talking).
Thank you to Le Pan Wine Director/Head Sommelier and friend, Simpson To. Thank you also to Le Pan Restaurant Manager and friend, Fagin Cheung. And last, but not least, thank you to Chef Edward Voon and his team for the food and service of course.
For those who may not know the whole story about how I ended up at Goldin Wines, 9 years ago, it is all thanks to Edward, to whom I would be eternally grateful for recognizing me in the middle of the crowd at the airport, on the way to Hainan Island (South China), 2 years after we first met back in Tianjin.
He recognized me, then we took the plane and went on separate ways. A few weeks later, we bumped into each other, twice, then he brought me up to the office at the 22nd and 23rd floor of the IFC building back then, where I was interviewed by Sean, and the rest is history. And, here we are, 9 years later, saying goodbye to this lovely adventure, closing this chapter to go to the next.
Thank you guys for this farewell lunch to celebrate my departure from the company, after 9 years of good and loyal services. Much appreciated.
(PS: Post originally posted on my Instagram account on July 31st, enhanced for the purpose of this post on my blog, I forgot to post it earlier.)
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