The Crispy Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower dish blew everyone’s taste buds out of the water as the crew dug in after the shoot.
While the chicken was liberally buttered and seasoned before roasting, the cauliflower was blended to desired texture. Sharon maneuvered around the kitchen as she did a thousand times before, confidently wielding a knife and chopping up the spinach. It was evident that the woman behind the dish was dedicated to achieve perfection for both taste and display of the dish.
After the shoot, we got to sit down with Sharon to find out more about her journey as a food blogger and culinary therapist.
Q: Hey Sharon! So what got you into learning how to cook?
A: My family got me into cooking. My husband to be exact; he is quite picky about the food he eats. He wants to eat healthy, but as a single person he was always eating cereal, or salad, which isn’t a lot healthier in general. When got married and moved in together, that was when I started cooking a lot more because I needed to live on my Asian food and he needed to live on his western food. That was when I started to innovate on fusion cuisines.
The love for cooking probably intensified when we had kids, and we wanted the kids to eat healthier. As I wanted my kids to be able to enjoy treats without so much of commercial additives, I learnt how to substitute overly processed ingredients for healthier ingredients.
Q: What are some of the food creations that you are proud of?
A: One of the most memorable fusion creations is the Singapore Chilli Crab Pasta. I made that dish because my love for chilli, spices, and especially my love for my family spurred me to create it. My husband loves eating chilli crab, but we are not experts when it comes to breaking the shells, and it gets really messy. So instead of using the crab itself, I improvised the crab meat into crab cakes, so that it would not be messy when we enjoy it. I toned the heat down a bit with cream so that my husband can enjoy it too.
Q: Was it earlier this year that you started your cooking career?
I started off blogging three years ago, not thinking that it will pick up pace or anything like that. I started mainly because I was preparing to go back to work full time, and my helper needed help in taking over the kitchen. That was when I started documenting my step by step recipes. I started my blog more for her to follow, but then it started to take a life on its own with people asking for more recipes from me.
Q: What are some of the challenges you have faced in your cooking career?
I would call challenges learning opportunities. I only started my blog with my cell phone; Doing everything on it. Pictures and all that. I had to learn from scratch how to style my food, how to use a DSLR etc. Those can be very time consuming, and a lot of research and reading of books is required. However, the real challenge I would say comes from the questions from readers, I welcome questions from them but sometimes it would get overly taxing because they want me to do individual conversion for them. I get more than just one person asking me to convert recipes or them, so it can be taxing. I try to reply to all, but it takes a lot of time.
Q: What are some of the stereotypes you normally face?
A: I guess right now that I’m no longer working full time for a company, and I’m running my own business, people seem to think I am a stay at home mum, a full time tai tai; which is not true. My day starts at six in the morning and my work doesn’t end until the time I go to bed. People who are mothers tend to have a better idea that a mother’s job never ends. We don’t have off days, we don’t get MCs.
My day starts at six in the morning and my work doesn’t end until the time i go to bed. People who are mother tend to have a better idea that a mother’s job never ends. We don’t have off days, we don’t get MCs.
Q: How do you juggle both cooking and taking care of your kids?
It is challenging to do so; I wake up and start early each and every day. I do my posting in the morning, get the kids ready, when they are at school I do whatever I need for my company, for my blog. My kids come home at 2pm, and that’s when it gets tougher to concentrate because they need my attention. I try to get them involved in the kitchen, and they know when the food is ready, they need to leave Mummy alone to take pictures. And then the whole evening would be to spend time with them, finding out how their day was, and spend time with my husband as well. My kids go to bed at 8pm, that’s when I go back to office and start working again.
Q: How do you find the strength in you to keep pushing forward?
There are many times when I doubt myself; why am I doing this etc. If I am not doing this, I’ll be able to spend more time with my family. But then I get rewarded by readers when they write in, saying that they enjoyed my recipes, and I get people appreciating what I do for them; the blog, or even teaching them how to cook. They feel really proud; When they step into my kitchen not knowing how to cook at first, and then walking out and sending me pictures of what they made at home.