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 and I am still teaching 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
Recently, I have expanded my kitchen and opened up my house as
Bayan Indah, a place where one can choose to stay and experience
what I like to call culinary peace. I think it is simply a lovely
refreshing place to unwind, relax, chill out, enjoy something calming
and different, and yet Bayan Indah is less than 30 mins from the centre
of Kuala Lumpur.