Kitchen Connection - Featured Cheffie: Azlin From Singapore
Azlin has been a supporter of Kitchen Connection since the very beginning, and it is truly an honor and a pleasure to feature her this month, as we celebrate Singapore. Don't let her be defined just by Singapore, however. Azlin comes from a very multicultural (and multilingual) family which is reflected in the recipes that she cooks. Also, as an avid traveler, recipe developer and cooking instructor, Azlin is a connoisseur of all-things-food from all over the world! She has been running her own cooking school, Constant Cravings, for a number of years. Read on to learn more about her foodie journey:
Do You Prefer coffee or tea? Tea
Who is your favorite person(s) to cook for? / Eat with? My kids. I love watching their faces as they discover new tastes and sensations.
What are your favorite dishes or cooking topics to teach? Dishes: too many Topics: South East Asian Food, Pastry
Food is love. Food and cooking also allows me to exercise my creativity. I've always been hopeless at art, despite having a huge love for it, so cooking, baking and cake decorating allows me to realize my "artistic aspirations"!
Do you have any cooking/food superstitions? From my granny: no harsh words while beating eggs, they won't rise well!
If you could get a tattoo of a food, what would it be and why? Err, not on your life!
Azlin's Pachri Nenas Recipe
What is one dish, drink or food topic that you're really wanting to learn or master? Boning birds! I'm hopeless at it!
What does food mean to you? How has food changed/shaped your life? Food is love. Food and cooking also allows me to exercise my creativity. I've always been hopeless at art, despite having a huge love for it, so cooking, baking and cake decorating allows me to realize my "artistic aspirations"!
Tell us about a time when food connected you with a stranger. I was on my way to a work Christmas party in London sometime in the 90s. Halfway through the journey, the train was delayed for about an hour and by the end of that time, some of my fellow passengers and I had gone through the how, the what and the when of a full British Christmas dinner, sparked off by a simple question by someone. It was awesome! We didn't feel the hour!
If you're not living in the same place where you grew up, how have your food traditions changed/ evolved with you? I grew up in Singapore and have been in the UK for about 20 years. I still cook a lot of Asian food, but being in the West has exposed me to a whole lot more ingredients than would have been possible in Asia. French and Italian cheeses come to mind. But my cooking repertoire has also been greatly influenced by my travelling, for example, we recently spent a month in Spain and a month in Morocco. And because my family is very multi cultural and Singapore is multi cultural, I grew up eating food from different cuisines.
Who was the first one to expose you to cooking/good eating? Who has the most influence on how/what you cook? I suppose that would be my maternal grandmother, she ran a food business and was a master baker, one of the reasons I have never had a problem with pastry. What I cook is influenced by my mood and my family's requests.
What is your never fail piece of cooking advice? Did someone pass it on to you? Did you learn that lesson the hard way? Never enter a kitchen with doubt or fear, most kitchen failures are as a result of self doubt. Just something I've always believed in, this is the advice I start all my new cooking classes with.
II. To find out more about Azlin:
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