May 27, 2016
I have been running surgical residency programs for 9 years, and had visitors from many parts of the world with the special privilege of hosting some of the world’s most renowned dental implant experts, but never before have I looked forward to an event as much as I did to this month’s conference at my training centre. Weird as this might sound, it was Deb’s Syrian Chicken that got me excited. She finally succumbed to my nagging and agreed to cater our event, so I knew it was going to be special.
We had numerous caterers in our past events. A chef and some waiters would all turn up with their gear ready to serve lunch. The food always looked average at best, and how it tasted I couldn’t even tell you: it was kindda difficult for me to decide between the Fat Chips with Gravy (as in dripping fat, not thick fat) or Fried Chicken with Butter Peas and Baby Carrot.
This month’s residency program was gonna be full-on …I had to eat! We were at our capacity of 22 attendees. We had dentists and specialists from Hong Kong, Japan ad New Zealand …and some complex surgeries.
We had a combination of lectures and live surgery including 9 full-arch reconstructions over 4 days using our All-On-4 and Zygoma techniques. As we do not pre-select our patients for these programs, we happened to have some very complex cases this time, which proved to be somewhat exciting for the attendees. All the patients successfully had their teeth fitted within 24 hours from their respective surgeries.
Patients who need the All-On-4 dental implants treatment are quite often dental cripples because of their loose dentures or badly deteriorated teeth. There is this amazing energy in the room when we hand the mirror to the patient and unveil their new smile. They often can’t believe their transformation in such a short time-frame. Their emotions pass onto the entire team and we get this sense of fulfillment that we have achieved far more than simply improve their oral health and function. Its also motivates the dentists who attend our programs to further develop their surgical skills so that they too can one day offer this treatment for their own patients.
Pictured above in my waiting room with my Japanese colleagues, featuring special artwork by my friend Nellie Zimmerman (facebook.com/NellieZimmermanArt/).
As it turned out, lunch choice was again kindda difficult for me on each of the days, but this time it was The Good, The Better and The Insatiable. Deb’s lunch menu was simply outstanding. I’ve had her food before, and have been obsessed with her Syrian Chicken for like forever. She was our “Secret Chef” as she would not be there to show her face like those before her, – she has a day job after all. She cooked dishes in her home kitchen, …the food looked almost as good as it tasted. It felt just wrong serving her creations in the plastic bowls or trays that we got from K-mart.
I might be biased but my favourite dish was still the Syrian Chicken. The slow-cooked lamb shoulder was not far behind. I also loved the Brown Rince and Quinoa Salad and the Pesto Pasta Salad, …and I don’t usually eat pasta, but Ijust couldn’t stop eating it, …at lunch, during the break, in between patients, and the next day, …until it was all gone.
What impressed the conference attendees the most was the Poached Soy-Wasabi Salmon and the Soba Noodle Salad.
The biggest compliment was when I took my guests to the city for dinner at Taxi restaurant, one of my favourites, when one of the guests asked me whether the “Secret Chef” was the one from Taxi restaurant. So that we’re all clear, when I say compliment, I mean a compliment to Taxi!