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 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—a.k.a. history. Terrible metaphors aside, I’m now based back home in Malaysia, where I currently write and talk about food and food culture, and make weird recipes seem cool!
About The Blog
If you've scrolled through the blog, you'll notice that many of the dishes are a little weird, a little kooky. Many of them are influenced by my Malaysian-Chinese upbringing—think old-school kuihs, sweaty kopitiam dishes, and plenty of big bold flavours—but I have a tendency to incorporate these core flavours into classic cakes, biscuits, or a typically American or European thing—all the things I learnt to cook in culinary school and in my restaurant years.
So you’ll see kooky creations influenced by multiple cultures, like PB&J-filled baos, tapioca cake oozing with Spanish caramel, and mooncake-doughnuts. Sure, they might seem a tad contentious, as they break from tradition and might even be regarded as heretical to some. (My Asian ancestors might roll in their graves knowing I stuffed peanut butter into Chinese baos.) But to me, cooking is at its most enjoyable when rules and conventions are challenged a little, and that kooky kid in all of us comes out to play!
So I hope that through this blog, you’ll be inspired to tap into that creative, rebellious part in you (I know it’s in there somewhere!) and have some mad fun in the kitchen!
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 let me assure you, that far from being a totally unhinged, napalm-struck culinary playground thought up by a geeky millenial 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, like chocoalate and fish sauce, say. But what's the point of doing so if it doesn't taste good? So as weird as some recipes might seem, know that if it's on the blog, it'll be sure to tantalise 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. While I’m ultimately curious about food and would throw just about anything together in the name of culinary curiousity, I think it’s also mighty important to be respectful of ingredients, of the culture and traditions and stories behind food and dishes.
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. So is my Patronus, probably.
I have a huge thing for pickles and ferments.
I like mamak food, macadamias, moist cakes, Michael Pollan quotes, mind-bending TV shows. Oh, and alliteration.
And yes, I do enjoy a good gin & tonic. 🤭