On Wednesday February 4, 2004 I submitted my collegiate letter of intent to play football for the University of Idaho on a full-athletic scholarship. From that moment on the rest was history. I'm a city boy that was in for a culture shock when I left Southern California for a small town called Moscow, Idaho: population 15,000 and all but six or seven traffic lights just 8 miles east of Wazzu (Washington State University).
At the time, I was just an 18-year-old homesick Samoan. No friends, no family. But all of that changed soon after I met a spitting image of myself, Siua Musika. Our teammates often joked around and would called Siua and me bowling ball twins or others names not suitable for this article (haha). Literally, Siua and me were the same age, height, weight and build, but our facial features separated us both because I was and still am undoubtedly better looking. Do you know who Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is? Ok, good because I look nothing like him. Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is Siua and I instantly clicked. We became brothers and little did we know our family away from home would only grow.
I won't get in to too much detail about my freshmen year because it was boring much like my Geography 101 class taught by a guy who wore Jesus sandals and looked like he was an avid fan of World of Warcraft. So, Siua and I paired up sophomore year and moved in with the only 6th year senior on the team, Running back Malfred Shaw. Malfred was unique because not only did he grow up in poverty stricken Oakland, Ca and managed to eventually graduate with his Bachelors degree, but he was also skillful in the kitchen. Because of Malfred I developed an affinity for cooking. Real quick about my culinary background, I am a stranger in the kitchen, but barbeque is a whole 'nother story. Ok, so like I was saying Malfred pretty much introduced me to gourmet cooking and from then on my palate would never be the same.
After Malfred graduated and departed for the real world, I felt it was time to start cooking not only for me, but I wanted to get my brothers involved. Perhaps feasts, cookouts or barbecues.
Every so often Siua, our new brothers Mike Iupati, Jon Faraimo, Marcus Pedro, and I would all pitch in a portion of our monthly scholarship checks toward grocery shopping at WinCo. We'd go crazy spending anywhere from $500-$700 a month on meat and other essentials.
I swear every time my brothers and I would fire up the BBQ, grill some marinated chicken, some hot links, and pretty soon all of Moscow would be in attendance. It slowly became a tradition that all the Polynesians and some of the teammates would come together under one roof a couple times each month and just cook an abundance of good eats. It's moments like those that made my college experience worthwhile.
On birthdays we'd all celebrate by buying a ton of food and cooking up a storm in the kitchen and out on the patio deck grilling a traditional family marinated recipe of chicken, steak and hamburgers. We'll have a garbage can full of beer to the top and after when our belly's are full and we're all tipsy then cake fight it is! Great times I tell ya. Even my brothers will admit it.
Alex Toailoa's Food Filled Instagram: Alexxx1236