Eating well isn’t about eating little. Life is about balance and so is food. Wellbeing to me is about sharing food with the people you love. I never eat alone; it’s in my blood to eat socially. In places like Hong Kong they eat six or seven dishes for dinner, so you can hardly eat that alone. Eating should be about nourishment for both your body and soul.
Making a cookbook was fun. I wouldn’t call it stressful, it was more of an amazing journey. I was able to involve a lot of people, so it was an adventure for us all. Without my staff it would have been hectic but their support made it all possible.
I love yoga:
I’ve tried different types of exercise, like running and boxing, but yoga really works for me. It puts my head and mind into a good space and keeps me fresh, motivated and calm.
I’ve been practising on and off for 10 years so I can do it from home. Being a business owner means always being a leader, so sometimes I like to go to yoga classes to be instructed by someone else.
Asking me to pick my favourite food is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child. It’s impossible. Asian cuisine has a scale; Japanese is on one end and Indian is on the other, with Thai in the middle because it can be fresh with herbs or a curry style. In between Japanese and Thai is Vietnamese food because it’s full of herbs and has a clean taste. To pick one is really impossible for me.
I cook for my mood. A laksa or curry for winter, a light salad for summer.
I was sceptical about the power of writing down your goals but once I did everything fell into place. At the time, my goals were to be married, own my own business and own my own home.
I wrote those goals down 100 times in a notebook then put the book away. A year later I had accomplished them all and since then it’s become a ritual. I still have that first mind map, it’s framed and in my spare room.
The ‘ah ha’ moment:
I never intended to become a chef. I had a life-changing moment when I was working at a hotel. In a matter of 24 hours, two staff members died of heart attacks.
They were young, under 40. I was so shocked and it made me realise that life is short. My parents always told me to do what you love and not to have regrets.
“I start every day with a kale, coconut, chia seed and avocado smoothie. My body feels amazing after. It’s so important to make sure you eat food that helps your body.”
Words by: Daisy Sillis
Photos: Mike Rooke, Bauer Photo Studio and Getty Images
Hair and makeup: Claudia Rodrigues