Malaysian Couple Cooking Goals Win Fans During COVID-19
Food tastes best when made with love with a couple of cooking goals for photographer Chew Win-Win and her boyfriend, Albert Wong.
During the MCO, I would look longingly at Chew’s’s food posted on her Facebook Page. I swear we use the same ingredients.
Her hashtags are very encouraging for budding home cooks –
“Eat Cheap Look Fancy” Sums Up Their Couple Cooking Goals
I also eat cheap. I mean, l am your average Malaysian aunty and a Penangite to boot.
Penangites love to save money.
I buy Maggi mee, eat tuna straight from the can when I’m on writing assignments.
But heck, these two take simple ingredients up to a different level.
Wong and Chew’s Round the World Menu
“You may just Google the dish name,” says Chew. Most of which I can’t even spell, much less pronounce.
- Kaalilaatikko (Finnish Cabbage Casserole)
- Smaženice (Czech Republic mushroom Omelette)
Romantic recipes for couples
When you need a recipe for romance, cook as a couple!
Initially, I thought of fun things to cook together on a date.
Yes, I was dating. A very long time ago. I thought, since it was my turn to buy dinner, I will cook.
I burnt dinner. He ate. Then he said in all seriousness.
“Please don’t cook again, Dory.”
Guys, I pulled out all the stops, okay. I made bacon-wrapped prawns, salmon steaks, and I burned the frittata.
Please don’t ask me how. But I managed to do just that!
Relationship Goals – Couples Who Cook Together Stay Together, Builds Cooperation.
So I asked Chew if Wong will cook something to inspire me.
When this foodie couple couldn’t travel or eat out, Wong decided to recreate meals worldwide.
Chew would document each dish in a stunning photo series marked by each day of the MCO.
What better daily inspiration than this.
The recipes are astounding. As a foodie myself, naturally, I was very intrigued (read that as greedy)
Even with comfort food, Chew and Wong would plate it like a fine dining restaurant.
Why am I not surprised? Even meals for their four-legged son, Blackie, smacks of deliciousness at a LUX level.
I saw the Oeufs Cocotte (Baked Eggs), my favorite!
‘Food is the ingredient that binds us together’
Quick and Easy Meals for Two – Date Night
French Egg in Pot (French)
Egg, Bacon, Cream Cheese, Bread, Bechamel Sauce
Ramen Burger (USA)
Instant Ramen, Pork Loin, Cheese Slice, Tomato, Bacon
Open Face Sandwich (Denmark)
Bread, Scramble Egg, Cucumber Pickles, Sardine in Tomato
Spaghetti on Toast (Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain)
Bread, Pasta, Marinara Sauce, Hake with Sprinkle Fresh Parsley
Spicy Fish Cake (Thailand)
Tuna in Can, Chili, Kafir Leaf, Bread, Egg
So, I decided to interview Wong and Chew about their couple cooking goals.
Chew is a food and travel photographer. Her boyfriend, Albert Wong, comes from an F&B management background.
The lockdown was a self-improvement challenge that they set out to work together as a couple.
They spend their evenings planning meals for the next day, researching the internet, and using cookbooks for references.
Often they would discuss some recipes they tried or local tips that they picked up on their travels.
It is a good synergy for both of them; she photographs, he cooks.
Either way, Chew would need to get her camera to photograph before they eat the meal together.
According to Chew, their pet “Blackie… Chill and relax me. He never kacau. He is a very, very good boy.”
Undeterred, I tried to make something without burning food again as part of our couple cooking goals.
I tried my best and came up with my two renditions.
Prawn, Fish Balls, Mustard Greens
Like to know more?
Dory: What’s the inspiration behind your creative cooking?
We stop doing this since both of us are living together now.
Both of us are busy working to provide living until the Malaysian Movement Control was in place – we can’t go out to have our meals, so we decided to revive our couple cooking goals.
Dory: Are there any ingredients that you don’t use, and why?
Wong: I don’t use stock cubes or MSG as working in a professional kitchen has taught me to do my cooking from the ground up without using additives.
Dory: Would you ever make a Japanese Mom’s Bento? Why yes? Why not?
Wong: Not ever! But ordinary bento, yes. I made over 40 Bento sets for Japanese during my time with a multinational factory canteen management.
Open Face Sandwich
Bengali Bread, Sardines in Tomato, Pickled Japanese Cucumber, Chili, Pink Pickled Onions
Dory: What is the most challenging plating and shooting for food?
Wong: Fine dining is considered the most delicate.
Everything needs to think through with related themes to play along with all texture, shape, even size to consider, and, most of all, the meaning of the dish you intend to express or tell.
Dory: How did you create your jumping ingredients photo?
Chew: The jumping food shots are like how they create the now-famous levitation in living room shots.
I admire this couple who made great use of their time during the MCO Lockdown to continue to improve their cooking and photography skills and document their journey online.
As for me, I was thrilled with my Open Face Sandwich | Bengali Bread, Sardines in Tomato, Pickled Japanese Cucumber, Chili, Pink Pickled Onions.
The taste is there; plating and presentation is probably a half star. I will give myself a 5.5 star for effort. Will I continue to cook after MCO?
My family laughed and said, what you do is called Assembling Food – not COOKING!
Oh well! Live to fight another day then. We didn’t win at everything. LOL.
Share with us if you have any couple cooking goals to make your bond stronger.
P.S. Thank you, Albert Wong, Chew Win-Win, and Blackie, for being so sporting to be interviewed.