|Buddhist monks leading a small group of followers in a chant at the wake.|
Platinum Preppy pen with de Atramentis ink on Stillman and Birn Beta Hardbound.
“But uncle also cook what!” was my favourite retort when grandma fretted and forbade me from her kitchen.
“Then you must make sure that you are as good as he is!” exclaimed my exasperated grandma. Yes, grandma is a fiery spirit, just so you know where I get mine. She is an honorary Nyonya, that one, but so is uncle, where fiery spirits go, literally. So I guess it runs in the family.
My uncle has cheffed with a slew of established restaurants under his belt, a couple that stuck in my memory include:
- Swee Kee Chicken Rice, the one at Middle Road, which has since shifted to Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
- Szechuan Court and Canton Garden at Raffles City, when the hotels were still under Westin. I believe only Szechuan Court is around and has expanded into Szechuan Kitchen as well. Afterall, Szechuan and Canton functioned with the same kitchen anyway.
My uncle being a professional chef meant that I was able to pursue my hobby of cooking. Looking back at this memory, he was, in a way, as a hyperbole of some sort, part of the impetus that nourished the Feminist in me, together with my grandma, of course. Because, if a man (my uncle) can be a master in a kitchen and a woman (my grandma) can head a household, then there is no such thing as designated gender roles.
And I am still enjoying my hobby of cooking and baking and running my own household.