Hi! I’m Jun, a Malaysian engineer turned cook and food writer. Yup, I'm one of those millenials who threw all caution to the wind in pursuit of a career that has nothing to do with what I studied in school. Tsk tsk.
So yes, I studied chemical engineering at Cambridge (and graduated, I should add; my Asian parents would probably disown me otherwise), but soon after traded my steam tables and CAD drawings for a lifetime of glorious, glorious gluttony! I signed up for a short stint of culinary school, lived in Paris for a few months, worked in a couple of restaurant kitchens around the world, and the rest, as they say, is the layers of a kombucha scoby, or the depth of a Mexican mole, or the char in a barrel of Scotch — history.
Terrible metaphors aside, I am now based back home in Malaysia, where I currently write about food and food culture, in between bouts of cooking and eating!
About The Blog
If you've taken a scroll through the blog, you'll notice that many of the dishes are made up of a strong core of Asian flavour. They’re mostly influenced by my Malaysian-Chinese upbringing; think old-school kuihs, sweaty kopitiam dishes, and plenty of big bold flavours. But then you might click on the next recipe and it’s a crazy cake, tart, doughnut, or some other typically Western-sounding thing.
These two things, combined with the little food geek in me, result in dishes that take inspiration from wildly different cuisines, ending up with cross-cultural things like PB&J-filled baos, tapioca cake oozing with Spanish caramel, and mooncake doughnuts. Sure, these might seem a tad contentious, as it breaks from tradition and might even be regarded as heretical to some. But to me, cooking is at its most enjoyable when rules and conventions are challenged a little, and that mad-scientist-inner-child in all of us comes out to play!
So I hope that through this blog, you’ll find that bit of mad fun and enjoyment in cooking too, and tap into that creative, rebellious part in you! (I know it’s in there somewhere!) Let’s all embrace a little weirdness in our cooking, and embrace foods that are a little strange but surprising, weird but wonderful, unfamiliar but nostalgic!
Okay so a blog with weird recipes not bound by traditional cooking conventions might not seem like a particularly reliable source for recipes. I get that. But allow me to assure you, that far from being a totally unhinged, napalm-struck culinary playground thought up by a geeky millenial manchild who thinks he can cook, know that each and every article and recipe on the site is grounded by these three core values:
A focus on flavour. Sure, I can put two random ingredients together to make a dish, like chocoalate and fish sauce, say. But what's the point of doing so if it doesn't taste good? So no matter how weird the dishes I concoct might seem, know that if it's on the blog, it'll be sure to tantalise and tickle your tastebuds.
Brutal honesty. If something doesn't live up to expectations or needs more work, I'll be sure to mention it, so you can learn from all the silly mistakes I make!
Respectful curiousity. Sure, I’m ultimately curious about food, I think it’s also mighty important to be respectful of ingredients, of the traditions I sometimes break, and most of all, of the stories and cultural significance behind each dish.
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 curiously and eat better!
Here are some extra things about me (that I guess are usually divulged on these About pages, but also so you don't think I just eat weird food all the time).
My spirit animal is chocolate.
I have a huge thing for pickles and ferments.
I like mamaks, macadamias, moist cakes, Michael Pollan quotes, and mind-bending, morality-questioning TV shows. Oh, and alliteration.
I game – Witcher, Hearthstone (when it wasn't broken), Pokémon, Bioshock Infinite, and lotsa indie titles.
And yes, I do enjoy a good gin & tonic. 😁