A few months ago, I looked at some of my oldest entries and almost wanted to wipe out all traces of my amateur cooking and blurry flash photographs, but then I realised how silly it was to deny all that. I've grown a lot since I started the blog and I'm really happy for all the opportunities that this blog has given me, the people I've met, and all the stories I've told and remembered through this blog, stupid or wonderful. When I first started the blog, I really didn't think too much of it. I just really liked food, and really liked to take pictures of my food, #asian. I started cooking because a) I'm a poor starving student so I can't eat out everyday and b) I like being healthy so I want to eat real food, not cheap fast food. Not all of my attempts were successes, and I still cringe when I see the sort of throw-it-all-in stirfries I used to do. I never thought I would one day be cooking dinners for 18 (or even 50), or that I would be writing about food (and that I will have readers), but I guess the world has a funny way of makign things happen in the most incredible way.
I'm going to share some of the more wonderful moments of 2012 when I've gone "LOOK MUM!" and pray no one else decides to dig into the more stupid moments.
1. When I'm not making a mess in the kitchen, I'm making a mess in art school; I do graphic design at central st martins. This year, I decided to "apply" myself more. I don't blog as often as before but (and because) each post is more thoughtfully put together in a way that hopefully makes everything more fun/ helpful. More quirky ideas and design here, quite a few somehow food-related (I can't help myself), if anyone is interested, or if just in case you're Jamie Oliver and want me to style your latest cookbook or design your packaging.
plusixfive. One day, Goz, the person who started the supperclub, read my blog and decided “we need to meet at the nearest pub, NOW”. I refused then (it was 11pm at night and this stranger was too scarily enthusiastic) but after a rainy afternoon meeting at Monmouth with this strangely convincing ball of energy, I found myself at a plusixfive supperclub for the first time, quite dauntingly, straight in the kitchen. To my relief, the guests seemed to not hate the sambal, I didn’t break Goz’s Le Creuset, and upon Goz’s nagging/prodding, I even found myself cooking for the next supperclub…and the next…and the next… It's been a lot of crazy fun. I've fed some scary famous foodies, and even Singaporean (hence even scarier) food critic Hsueh and chef Willin Low. Besides the monthly pop-up dinners, I've been doing some insane things with the team like cooking for fifty at the Supperclub Summit.
3. Related to 1 and 2, I'm in the midst of art directing and a bit of writing for an upcoming plusixfive cookbook with Epigram Books. We're still in the early stages, so I can't say much about it, but I do know it will be fantastic and not like any other cookbook you've seen. I just wanted to share the good news here so you can all watch out for it (and pre-order, eh-hem cough).
4. I WAS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES! Ok kind of. An article I wrote for Crumbs mag online was picked up by the NY times diners' journal, for a weekly roundup of interesting reads around the net-- not as impressive as it sounded after all eh, sorry for the drama. I've been doing a bit more food blogging and illustrations outside of this blog. For Crumbs mag as mentioned, and more recently, for the Great British Chefs.
5. And food writing. I've been doing some on-off writing for Flavour magazine, and more recently, the most amazing, gorgeous food-and-travel magazine Cereal. I'll take this chance to give a shout-out to Cereal. It's completely gorgeous, ad-free, just pages and pages of gorgeous food and places with gorgeous design and stories. If you are at all a food and design geek, you need to beg/steal/borrow or just (preferably) buy a copy in a bookstore in your country (it's sold internationally).
6. I went over to the dark side. I joined facebook and twitter. Technology doesn't like me, and the feeling is mutual. I took the longest time to be persuaded to get facebook for myself back in school when everyone had it already. It was a miracle I started blogging. And for the longest time, I've resisted getting twitter (Why would anyone care what I'm doing at this minute? Why's there a word limit? What's a #? Cute bird I guess.) I was sure I would hate it, but it's been pretty fun sharing some of the more random things I do, eat, or cook that I don't blog about, so please do join me, if you like. I'm on instagram too.
7. I've met a lot of equally food-obsessed people because of 6. I've been helping out with events, photographing and pinching food, teaching drunk corporate kids how to wrap spring rolls, etc etc. Yep. It's been exciting.
I hope 2013 will be filled with more exciting adventures, other than the bits of food blogging, cooking, working at the farmer's market, and studying of course. I'm graduating soon and I'm not sure where this whole thing will take me, but hopefully, it's a place that I will love. Merry Boxing Day and Happy New Year! (And thanks for reading my blog you all :)