Your Story, Our Pride.

Aspirations is an initiative by Asian Inspirations which features a few chosen ones who have deep interest in Asian culture and food. Our lovely readers can share their culinary journey with all of us! We are currently featuring our CNY 2016 contest winners.

Aspirations will bring you a new story from our winners every week, who will talk about experiences and inspiring ideas that drove them to be the epicureans they are now.

  • Michael J Sabo

    Michael J Sabo

  • Glenda McDonnell

    Glenda McDonnell

  • Lillie Giang

    Lillie Giang

  • Lisa Jane Fudge

    Lisa Jane Fudge

  • Melinda Savage

    Melinda Savage

  • Justine Withers

    Justine Withers

  • Josephine Chan

    Josephine Chan

Michael’s Culinary Journey

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My love of food started when I was about 5 years old, I used to help my Mother pod peas and clean potatoes, fresh from the family garden. My first cooking experience was at 10, when I decided to cook what Gourmet Hamburgers for my family. Looking back, they were just basic hamburgers but I did, and have always used the freshest ingredients.

I guess that is when my culinary journey really began. My first inspiration was my Mother, of course. However, Keith Floyd inspired me to learn cooking. Pat Charlton, who was French-trained gave me my training wheels.

A fond memory

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On special occasions my mother and father used to treat our large family to a Chinese meal. This is where I fell in love with all of the tastes of Asia – chilli, ginger, garlic, soya, sesame oil and the likes.Some years later, I revisited my childhood burger but this time it had a distinctly Asian twist.

My fondest memory is from a restaurant I always go to in London’s Chinatown. Every Friday, a group of four lovely old Chinese ladies used meet at the same restaurant and have a wonderful lunch of Dim Sum where they just relished every bite, chatted and laughed. This to me, is what food and cooking is all about.

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Cooking style

My style is basically Eurasian. I like to fuse the flavours of Asia into every day, traditional Western food.My favourite Asian dishes are: salt and pepper calamari or chicken, stuffed chicken wings, Peking duck, crispy pork belly, Vietnamese pho, char sui pork, Singapore noodles and Singapore chilli crab.Some of the other cuisines I like to cook are: French, Indian, Thai and Italian.

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Singapore Chili Crab

Cooking tip

If you ever want to cook the crispest pork crackling ever, my tip is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight for the skin to dry out and change colour –add salt just before cooking it in the oven. Every
bite feels like heaven!

If there was one ingredient from my kitchen pantry that I’d never trade with anyone in the world it has to be the Kosher Stock Powder, it adds flavour, warmth, depth and taste to any form of cuisine.

The secret ingredient

I have always lived by my motto CTT – Cook what you love, Taste your palette, Table – serve your family & friends and this is perhaps what has brought me this far in my culinary journey!

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The winning moment

When I won the weekly prize it felt fantastic to be chosen amongst so many other wonderful entries and colourful recipes. I also thought my Dim Sum might have been simple to win a prize. But I was elated.

Plus the fact that I got Flower Drum, one of my favourite Asian restaurants chosen by Asian Inspirations is something that is absolutely delightful. I will be going there with my partner and hope to have a great time.

With my Flower Drum restaurant voucher

My favourite recipe from the CNY contest

Amongst the sea of entries in the CNY contest I really liked Glenda’s Pork & Mushroom Banquet,
Justine’s Prawn & Tofu Laksa and Julia’s Asian Pork Belly. They were visually colourful and had the right balance of ingredients.

A big thank you to Asian Inspirations

I think that the Asian Inspirations competition shows that there might just be a ‘Master Chef’ in all of us. I loved the Facebook updates and tried some of the wonderful recipes other people posted. For example, Jessica’s Seared Scallops with Spicy Pork Mince – absolutely delish!!! Thank You for such a wonderful opportunity and for choosing me as the weekly winner. I will cherish this for a lifetime.

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CNY 2016 WINNERS

Kate Brodhurst

Rosalin Kristiani

Glenda Mc Donnell

Michael J Sabo

Melinda Savage

Lisa-Jane Fudge

Lillie Giang

Justine Withers

Julia Brodska

Josephine Chan

Sally-Ann Haw

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CNY 2016 WINNERS

Glenda Mc Donnell

Michael J Sabo

Melinda Savage

Lisa-Jane Fudge

Lillie Giang

Justine Withers

Julia Brodska

Josephine Chan

Sally-Ann Haw