So I’ve been seeing a lot of updates on Facebook with people having not-so-positive vibes during 2016. Some are soooo glad that 2016 is over. But it’s all pretty much a mindset, isn’t it?
For me, sure there were not-so-great moments, but I’d like to think we pretty much RAWked right through 2016 and had a blast! Let’s do a roundup of the rawsome times we’ve had together, shall we? :)
Meets Celebrity Chef Matthew Kenney
I met Matthew Kenney himself in person. In real life - see photo above! This is the founder of the world’s first classically structured raw and plant-based culinary school. And for a minute, I was too star-struck and too afraid to speak to him. So Mr Jazz Guitarist had to literally push me to stand in front of the raw celebrity chef and strike up a conversation. Never had I imagined that I’d have a chance to meet him in Thailand as I thought I had just missed him by a week at the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy in Evason Hua Hin but then I found out he was going to give a talk in Bangkok and we cancelled everything else so we could attend it. Am pretty sure the universe had aligned our stars. Very inspiring to meet him in person and I managed to ask him questions about raw food which he very graciously answered.
Also, thanks to the Matthew Kenney Culinary Alumni network, I’m so grateful I’ve met and made friends with so many raw food chefs from around the world.
- Chef Sabrina of Straits Road Kitchen in Singapore
- Raw Chef Mandy of Hearty Raw Kitchen from Hong Kong
- Chef Patricia K from Columbia
- Chef Moy of Nood Food based in Hong Kong
Chef Mariko Sakata based in LA whom I have yet to meet in person but we’ve had numerous conversations on Instagram and I’ve tried out lots of her raw vegan recipes
With Chef Moy
I also had the pleasure of meeting Chef Tina who is from France and runs a really lovely Mediterranean Cafe in Hong Kong which offers beautiful raw options on the menu. Not forgetting fellow Malaysian Shannon Lim-De Rooy who paved the way for raw food in Malaysia and is the author of Asian Raw Food Kitchen.
Expands Beyond Klang Valley
I first started conducting raw food demos and workshops in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur. After that, word got out, and I was invited to conduct hands-on workshops in Penang. Then somehow more people found out about me, and I received an invitation to teach in Singapore. The host said I was this “sudden breath of fresh air to the raw food scene” and she “just had to get me in.” And in December, I did collaborated with Raw Chef Mandy of Hearty Raw Kitchen where we conducted a Raw Cookies & Chocolate Workshop in Hong Kong which was sold out! I think mum’s secretly proud of me. You think?
Raw Chef Yin is LEGIT
I have a website! I initially started off with merely an Instagram account. People kept urging me to get a public Facebook page as well but I resisted for some time because don’t you think that Facebook is soooooo time consuming? Or maybe I just don’t have the willpower to tear myself away from social media sometimes. Anyways, I’m legit now coz www.rawchefyin.com exists. There was a bit of drama actually trying to get the domain name. I initially tried getting it through Hover and received this message:
“We're sorry to tell you that there was a problem with your recent order at Hover. We've refunded your purchase and cancelled any domain registrations and other services that were part of this order.”
And so I went to GoDaddy instead and registered. But a month later, Hover says that I registered with them and charges me for it. *shakes head*. After a couple of emails, things got settled (Thank you, Mr Jazz Guitaris!) and now I’ve gotta learn how to make the website rawsome ;)
Marissa Parry, PurelyB's Health & Wellness Director, once said to me “Life is all about learning”. I totally agree with her. So I’ve been making it a point to learn, learn and learn throughout 2016. And it’s been absolutely fantastic!
Just some of the workshops that I’ve attended in 2016:
- Food Writing workshop by award-winning chef Nurilkarim Razha
- Taste The Love Cookery Demo by Selvy ‘n’ Chen
- Food Photography & Styling workshop at ILOHA Culture Centre by Chris Dai & Chef Justin
Thanks to Chris I’m now much more confident in using the manual settings on my camera to take food photos.
I also signed up for a Raw Food Styling course taught by UK’s most famous Raw Food Chef, Russell James! It’s super cool whenever he critiques my homework on our regular webinars. He told me I was banned from including my wooden chair in any of my photos. Heh. People have been complimenting me on my recent raw food photos, so am really happy I’m learning quite a bit from The Raw Chef. However I hope he uploads more of the modules soon because it was supposed to be a 8-week course and it’s been more than 10 weeks and yet not all the videos are up yet. Hmmmph! I shouldn’t be complaining though as I don’t think I’ve completed all watching all the past webinars yet. Hehe.
Raw Chef Yin Performs
So I thought it’d be cool to read one of my articles from this column at this monthly live literature event called “Readings” which is held at the beautiful Seksan Gallery in Bangsar organised by Sharon Bakar. After all, it was the last day of 2016 and I’ve been wanting to read there ever since I started going to Readings 10 years ago.
And I offered to bring raw goodies along for their little New Year’s Eve tea party.
Except that I got cold feet and was kind stressed about having to both make raw goodies AND perform live on the same day. It turned out pretty nice though. A lovely joint performance with Mr Jazz Guitarist on acoustic guitar. And I even got a few laughs which is super awesome because you know that they’re listening to what you’re reading.
So those were some of the highlights for Two-Oh-One-Six. A big thank you to each and every one of you for being part of my raw food journey. Thank you for following my column and allowing me to share my experiences in 2016 with you. Looking forward to even more amazing journeys together in 2017.
RAWking on in 2017
January looks pretty filled up already with all these activities!
7th January - My very first time conducting a Healthy Chinese New Year Snacks workshop at the very established ILOHA Culture Centre in Bangsar.
17th January - My very first time conducting a workshop in a beautiful space filled with nature at Ampang Hilir, Our Body Space
20th January - A private workshop on gut health
22nd/23rd January - Raw Chef Yin heads to Bangkok
And the next raw food project I’d love to work on? Chocolate & Cheese! See you in the next episode.
What were some of your rawking moments?