Hi! I’m Jun, a chemical-engineer-turned-cook and food writer.
While I wish I had a really compelling backstory to tell you about how I started cooking (perhaps an Eat-Pray-Love-esque trip to some faraway land, or a quarter-life gluten-free epiphany maybe), unfortunately, I don’t. I'm just a Cantab engineer by training who threw caution to the wind and traded his CAD drawings for a lifetime of glorious gluttony. I signed up for culinary school right after graduation, worked in a couple of kitchens around the world, and the rest as they say, is history.
Much of my cooking is influenced by my Malaysian-Chinese upbringing. Think old-school kuihs, sweaty kopitiam foods (oh they can be so darn good!), and classic dim sum fare. But thanks to my science-y background, and having cooked in the kitchens of Paris and BHSB in New York, I have a penchant for drifting off into territories yet unknown, whipping up experimental, cross-cultural dishes like Milo Nutella (Mi-tella?) and financiers spiked with black garlic. (I know they sound hella weird, but wait till you try them!)
About The Blog
Far from just being just any ol’ recipe blog, you'll find that the focus of this site is placed on the weird and wonderful aspects of food, of niche, little-known ingredients, of the invisible strings that tie the food we eat to the communities, memories, and cultures that surround us.
So sure, the articles and recipes on this blog might be a little unconventional, a little kooky, but I promise you three things the blog will always be.
- It'll always be flavoured-focused. Because what's the point in food that looks great but taste meh?
- It'll always be brutally honest. If something doesn't quite work or doesn't live up to expectations, I'll be sure to mention it, so y'all can learn from the silly mistakes I make! No point in covering up to seem cool.
- It'll always be respectful. Respectful of cooking traditions, respectful of the provenance of ingredients, respectful of the stories and culture behind each dish. I take inspiration from dishes all over the world, and my hybridisation of dishes might sometimes seem offensive or misrepresentative of certain cultures, but know that this all comes from a place of deep love and respect, and I don't mean ill at all. It's just that sometimes I get a bit carried away playing around with food and flavours!
So despite my weird geekiness and not (yet) NYT-worthy writing, I hope you'll find that bit of inspiration on this site, helping you cook (and eat!) with child-like curiousity and have a greater appreciation for food and food culture!
Here are some extra things about me (that I guess is what's usually shared on these About pages, but I couldn't quite fit in above).
- I have a huge thing for pickles and ferments! (Except beer; don't judge.)
- My spirit animal is chocolate.
- I'm currently working on my humour.
- This Michael Pollan quote is #goals: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." I'm nowhere near being a vegan (and will probably never be one), but man, Blue Hill has taught me that vegetables can be so much more than we allow them to be!
- I do a bit of freelance writing! So so grateful to have been featured on Food52, Taste, and NeoCha.)
- Here's a whole jumble of other things I like: Durian. Coconut milk + gula melaka. Cool indie games. Mochi. Macadamias. Moist cakes. Alliteration. Rock climbing (badly). Bioshock Infinite (and what it could have been). The first two seasons of Fringe and HoC. The occasional soul-crushing, morality-questioning anime. (Don't judge.) Chocolate. And chocolate.