My adventures on Phi Phi Island have come to an end. Heck, it was incredible and I grew a whole inch during the last four month. I experienced working with an incredibly talented kitchen team and enjoyed many good laughs and foremost the world famous Thai hospitality. The few ugly moments with HR are soon forgotten and I am filled with many new ideas, recipes and foremost I have made new friends, possibly for life.

Would I do it again? Heck, yes! I am looking to find a new job and certainly in the Asian world. Two days ago was my birthday and I celebrate it as a farewell party with my loyal staff. They gave me a watch I proudly wear.

If any of you ever travel to the South of Thailand, hop on a ferry or rent a sped boat and come to the Laem Muang Beach where Zeavola is located. You will find the teachings and “touches” of my cooking and if lucky enjoy a moon rise or one of the many colorful sunsets I have come to cherish. It is hard to part from the white sand beaches and the friendly souls that have made my stay here so enjoyable. Thank you all involved!

In a last generous draw I convinced Richard Quest to visit us this weekend and hopefully he will shoot a nice little plug-in for CNN. One last dagger to the hip from HR; she threatened me to cancel my work permit, forcing me to leave Thailand before I receive my last salary. Although a return ticket was confirmed in my name, HR now claims that is not true. I guess their quarrel will go on to the end; what for?

Wow, time rushes by and like the waves of an ocean carries us on. Back in Los Angeles I will have to adjust to city life again, find the rhythm of fast life and a different chaos… The good and healthy Thai cuisine and the fresh air will be missed. Maybe I should go to china Town and buy me a wok. Although we have all the food available in the city, the fact I bought life squid and ate it a few hours later has changed my appreciation for fresh sea food for ever.

I will have to visit Lou’s memorial and spend a minute with him alone. I still miss him terribly. He would be such a joy to invite for a first dinner back home and talk his head full until dawn.

My mom is sure glad I come back into her neighborhood, since traveling at her age is a burden and Thailand is now too far away. Maybe my return to Los Angeles will be short and I find new employment far away California soon again. Next week I will place the Executive Journal (edited) in my blog, so you all can read up on the details of my working in Zeavola, trust me – it will be fun!

Thank you for the many fun letters I received. I will maintain my Chefs blog and keep you updated on my next journey,  Hugs Raphael

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