Earliest cooking memories: Those who influence my cooking style

This morning I realized that there’s must be something wrong with me, I think often about food, probably more often than most people (I know).

When I think about food, it doesn’t mean that I’m hungry, I just feel like making something out of the ingredients that came out of my head that instant. Mind you, my day job has no relation to food making whatsoever, I’m just a foodie.

I figured, it’s high time that I dedicated a post to those characters I grew up with and made me the kitchen tyrant I am today.

Starting from the grainy TV days:

Chef Stephen Yan, host of “Wok with Yan” (unrelated to Martin Yan, Malaysian based chef who’s hosting a Travel Channel show)

He greets people by saying “Harrrooooo” and replaces “l”s with “r”s— like a boss!

You gotta love his kitchen sense of humor. I used to watch this next to my gram, who giggles (she grew up believing that a real lady doesn’t laugh out loud–whatever that means) until her face turned red. I didn’t realized it then, but those were my good ol’ days.

I found Chef Yan’s clip from Youtube! Have a look, I think you’ll know why he’s an unsung Chefidol:

Julia Child

I first saw her when was still hyped on Sesame Street, Ms. Child made me thought that she was big bird without the yellow feathers.

Not being rude here, just remembering my childhood impression. Her voice is unforgettable.

Rudy Choirudin

He’s the ultimate Indonesian TV chef, when other chefs back then looked serious while presenting their program as if the stove is about to blow the kingdom comes anytime soon.

Seriously, Chef Rudy was a pleasant exception, everyone else smiled only at the end of the program as if they’re relieved that the show’s over or that they didn’t burn down the studio.

The downside, Chef Rudy oftentimes presented intricate Indonesian recipes. I love my country, and I love the national dishes, but young me didn’t care so much about going to traditional wet market to find a belimbing wuluh (a young star fruit, numbingly sour, natives to Southeast Asian countries).

On Selera Nusantara (the taste of Archipelago in Indonesian), his show’s latter life, he began to have a weird, experimental dishes involving more processed food.. Talking about turning yum to yuck in a heart beat.

But still, he’s awesome and should be dubbed as Indonesian food ambassador.

Too bad his talent is overshadowed by troops of young chefs, such as eye-candy Farah Quinn or the hunky Chef Yuna.

My number one cooking influencer is my awesome late grandma Corry Tjoa (nee Tjan Goat Go).

She forbade me to enter her kitchen, but I was allowed to watch her working. SHE GOT SWAG, and she rule the kitchen like a queen. I love her! She cooked kick-ass Hokkien and Peranakan dishes due to growing up as second generation Chinese in East Java. Then she grew up eating continental food, Dutch mostly prepared by cooks who prepare food using French techniques. Holland was occupied by French briefly, hence there was a brief fascination towards all things French in Batavia, how Jakarta was previously called.

Voila! I hope you enjoy the post.