When I first hatched the crazy idea of hosting
cooking classes out of my home kitchen, I had no inkling whether
hands-on lessons would appeal to my students. Or who these potential
“students” were likely to be. At the time, most cooking schools taught
demonstration-style but I wanted to offer a much more interactive
experience. But would people be prepared to get their hands dirty,
fumble their way around an unfamiliar kitchen and cook among strangers?
I reckoned there was only one way to find out. So I begged friends and
friends of friends, to let me teach them how to make nasi kerabu,
ayam percik and kerabu pucuk paku - for free. All they had
to do was answer my simple questionnaire: did they like the class format
and would they part with hard earned money for it?
Even then, I was convinced that doing, as opposed to watching someone
else doing, was the best way to learn. How else could you tell what
texture to aim for, or how something smells when it’s done?
Ten years later, my kitchen has expanded into
Bayan Indah and I am still teaching groups of eager students the best way to
shred herbs for nasi kerabu (roll into a tight “cigar” and use a
very, very sharp knife) and how to make perfectly, easy ayam percik
(simmer chicken in gravy until it is cooked through and then brown under
a hot grill).
Since then, the
class themes have widened to include everything from
bread making to quick cook meals. And through the
classes, I’ve met an
amazing number of nice people - so maybe, it wasn’t such a
it seems that quite a few people like my eclectic ideas about food
development and so I am now quite often asked to design recipes based on
ingredients that companies want to promote, or to provide original
content for magazines, newspapers and websites. This is great fun and
really brings out the creative side of me as I love working with great
ingredients and designing new inventive recipes around them.
recipe development work naturally led to
food styling assignments from various food companies, food outlets,
websites, travel magazines, packaging companies and even cookbook
authors. I love making food look beautiful and I work with great photographers and together we make some very
beautiful pictures for use on websites, food packaging, books,
magazines, catalogues, or simply as lovely pictures.