The Unskinny Cook

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. It is hard to condense 25 28 years into a few paragraphs so I'll skip the details. I live in the east of Singapore and have 3 older sisters. I only just recently got over my 1st girlfriend, much to the chagrin of my 3rd girlfriend(who incidentally happens to be the one i miss the most) and am currently on the lookout for my 4th girlfriend. Interested parties please do apply.  I have found my 4th girlfriend, my rockstar ZT, I am also blessed with an absolute beauty from China, and can be reached at:

My first memory associated with cooking was when I was 6 years old. My domestic helper had burned herself with hot cooking oil and I then made a solemn oath on my grandfather's grave that I would never use oil to cook. It's no surprise then that the first item I ever cooked, in that same year, was a fried egg using butter as the lubricant/heat conducting agent.

Thankfully, I outgrew that silly notion and have progressed quite far since then. Learning the tedious methods of Peranakan cooking from my dearly departed grandmother and experimenting like crazy with all sorts of combinations of things. Some very edible, some not so...

During secondary school, my ability to cook was apparent during home economics classes and my dishes were among the few that could actually be eaten.

Junior college and the post pubescent re-introduction of girls into my daily life marked a turning point in my cooking 'career'. It's a simple equation really. First, I make the following postulates:
  1. Many girls now are helpless in the kitchen
  2. Girls think guys who cook are cute
  3. Girls dig chocolate
  4. I can make chocolate amongst many other things 
Then using these statements, I form the equation:
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = GREAT SUCCESS!

Before enlisting into the army, I prepared and sold roast meats at a hawker stall for several months. My time in army was a crucial turning point in life. There, I met my 2 current founding partners who share a similar passion for the culinary arts as I do. More on that in later posts. I spent 4 months after my term in the army working at the Coriander Leaf and a few weeks after that at the Brown Sugar Bistro

I spent the following 3 months touring Europe, eating and drinking to my hearts content. Fulfilling a great desire to find out what authentic French and Italian cuisine was really all about. Returning home with a very well seasoned liver, I started university with a heavy heart.

Don't be mistaken. I wasn't forced into it. Having satisfied all the entry requirements and arguing my way out of taking the TOEFL, i was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America, the premier institution for culinary arts in the ENTIRE world. Financing a degree there would have been a stretch but the main reason i chose not to go was because of the stalwart feelings i have for the other love in my life. Till this day, it's a tough choice between culinary arts and chemistry for me. Well, i finally concluded that the option for cooking would always be open and embarked on my degree in materials science.

I justify my actions with the fact that in general, people without degrees are taken less seriously here in Singapore and boy do i plan on being taken seriously. So far, I have no regrets.

After an enlightening 7 month (eating and drinking) stay in Vietnam, I finished off my degree and did private dining full time for a year. I felt the need to scratch an itch and now have a small bistro, okb, and a central kitchen. Plans for a 2nd outlet are well on the way. 

Currently, I am available as a chef for hire with 2 great friends, Alroy and Ming, through our outfit JAM and I am also teaching some classes at the fantastic studios set up by TOTT.

After reading all that crap, perhaps you're wondering what this journal is going to be about. Well, the main focus will be on things that i personally cook. Techniques, cooking tips and interesting facts i come across. I'll also post about really outstanding places or events that i stumble upon. My photos are taken with my Nokia N73 and i must state now that i have not perfected the art of plating. My N73 is now dead and I am using the beautiful ZT's point and shoot. I need a new camera... Plating has improved tremendously, mainly due to practice.

So, this isn't going to be much of a food guide but a food blog, it definitely will be.

Stay tuned for more.

Au revoir!