Tell us a bit about you.
A former perfectionist who dreams of lists and writes in bullet points, I’d like to indulge in this format for this biographical question:
Exhausted from my work in corporate advertising, I sought meaning in social initiatives. I took a month-long fellowship in Kolkata India, immersing myself into community work in the slums with Pollinate Energy. Then I saw the potential that food can bring to connect and nourish people when I volunteered for OzHarvest and The Welcome Dinner Project – what an epiphany!
Continuing my love of food-related nonprofits and wanting to design my own, I applied for YFM’s Upstart program in 2017, in the hopes of building up my skills and confidence to start something in my local community (2565, represent!). I haven’t yet accomplished the latter (I’m close!), but what I’ve gained in the meantime has been truly exquisite – I’m now amidst a community of engaged, eclectic, unapologetic, food-enlightened young people who want to change the status quo.
What is your favourite food memory?
Apparently I invited some squatter kids to devour a whole roast chicken when I was three, much to the shock of my auntie, who prepared this for our family lunch (oops!). I also remember my parents’ steamed tilapia with tomatoes, ginger, onion, garlic and soy sauce – I’d eat this with gusto at aged four, and allegedly could spit out all the fish bones without choking. I mention that it’s my parents’ dish – both my mama and tatang (dad) cook, individually and in a collab. When one isn’t watching, the other checks on whatever dish is stewing on the stove and re-seasons it. It is a hilarious kitchen phenomena that I’ve witnessed growing up, and surprisingly, the food still tastes great.
Last meal you would eat before the apocalypse?
My partner’s tahitian lime cheesecake, my great uncle’s homegrown guava jam on toasted sourdough (not one that I’ve made – see above), or – a recent fave – Nigella’s ginger & carrot cake. I truly hope they still have sweets in the post-apocalypse.