And Now For Something Completely Different…


As you may be able to tell I’m somewhat of a prolific cook and poster of recipes. So I’m taking a little break here from the food just to talk about, well, me. Big surprise there. So hold tight and prepare to be taken on a journey of all things Jackie. Well. Sort of.

Momma Lee, me and Brother…
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my family are big foodies. We love to cook, we love to eat, we love to criticise. My mom is my best, and most severe, critic. My constant taste tester, I know from one eyebrow raise whether my food is a hit or a miss. I’d like to say more often than not it’s a hit, but there’s always something missing…
Papa Lee, me and my Grandmother making the
infamous family “kissy face”…
However, we’re more than just a family who love food, it’s in our blood. My grandmother in Hong Kong is a well-known cook and baker, the Delia Smith or Martha Stewart of Hong Kong, I suppose you could say. She still does a lot of charity and TV work, which she loves, and is apparently working on a cookbook with my dad, who’s a doctor. It’s a long story for another day. She’s an all round pretty amazing woman, though, who singlehandedly created a cooking empire.
I would love to be my Aunt May. She lives in Sydney and travels all over the world, eating at some of the most amazing restaurants and (luckily for me) taking photos of it all. She recently got back from a solo trip to Andalucia and fell in love with Spain, but I’m most jealous of her frequent trips to Japan. She’s also a fantastic cook – like I said, I’d love to be her. You can read all about her travels here.
Baby Jax – yes, that is the bow from a gift in my hair…
I was born in London and apparently my fascination with food started from a young age. I was weaned off breast milk and onto chicken soup, apparently. Go figure.
My grandfather and I…
My grandfather loved food. My mom tells me stories about when she was younger and living in Hong Kong and they would go out for a meal (all of which my grandfather would order) and, after a while, my grandfather would yell, “Swop!” and they’d all switch food so that they could have a little of each dish and not miss out on anything. Of course if you particularly liked your food then you were loathe to swop, but rules is rules… On one occasion when I was quite little I remember my grandfather being shocked that I was allowed to order my own food and, more than that, that I ordered lobster! Rich tastes, that’s me. I used to hate going out for dinner with him because he always stole the food on my plate. I learnt to adopt the defensive stance when eating with him – one arm protectively shielding my plate, the other hand forking mouthful after mouthful with great rapidity into my ever-waiting gob. Classy.
I’ve clearly stuck my finger in the frosting and licked it when
I thought nobody was looking…
Obviously with these rich tastes, I grew up with a keen taste for, er, everything. I grew up to be a round little thing. And bless my parents, they really indulged me. My mom’s cooking was divine (still is), and my dad regularly took us out for meals at some of the best restaurants in London. I loved it.
This is what a winner looks like…
I started cooking lessons when I got to secondary school and it was a great passion of mine – I loved that hour’s class during the week. Even better was when I got to the final years of school and got to take an optional cooking class where I could make anything I liked.
When I finished school I went on a residential cookery course for a month in Somerset, where I learnt to cook some very useful things, some completely useless (“Now this one’s a fantastic dish to whip up when the boys are out hunting, girls…”), but all very tasty. I already had a passion for cooking but this helped me to firm up my technique and really get to grips with the basic essentials.
I was miserable in my first year of Uni because I couldn’t cook. We only had a microwave in the kitchen and Halls food was dire. I put on a shed-load of weight because I went and bought ready-meals from Marks & Spencer’s the entire time. Miserable times. In my second year of Uni I suddenly had a kitchen again! It was great, I could start experimenting properly and cooking. I made my housemate and best friend put on weight because of the food I cooked them. My housemate’s mom even got jealous that I was taking her place, so every time he went home she cooked immense three course meals to remind him just exactly who was the mom here. I was broke all the time because I used to have dinner parties at home for all my friends, purely for the pleasure of cooking. I loved seeing their satisfied faces after a meal, hearing them reminiscing about the last meal I cooked them, my bank balance just didn’t like it too much.
My two current housemates (well, ex-housemates now that we’re all graduating and moved out of the house, sob!) joke that I’m constantly cooking. It’s not much of a joke, though, it’s the truth. They call me a Stress Cook, because every time I’m stressed I end up in the kitchen, cooking. I don’t even necessarily eat it all, I just like to cook when I need to get my head straight. Baking is a good one to do for me when I’m stressed. Even better is baking bread – oh yeaaah, get your knead on!
I started this food blog when I moved back home to London and found myself cooking far too much and taking photos of it all, for lack of anything else to do. Both photography and food are real passions of mine, and my boyfriend, bless him, found my new camera for me, which has allowed me to indulge in my growing passion of food photography. He’s another food tester of mine, often the recipient of many baked goods, and an extremely tolerant soul. Pretty sure that I’ve made him put on weight since dating me, so, er, sorry boyfriend! But I appreciate you eating my food with great gusto! I honestly don’t think I could date somebody who didn’t like food – it’s too much a part of me.
Incidentally, an ex-boyfriend of mine used to think that taking me out for McDonald’s was “taking me out for a good meal”. He also only cooked (aka. microwaved) ready-meals for lunch/dinner. I’m not sure he actually knew how to cook. Miserable times.
All in all, not much about me has changed since I was a little girl. I still love to cook. I still love to make people around me happy through food. I still go to some of the best restaurants in London. I love to take photos. Only these days I think in terms of recipes, I even dream about food, I float around the supermarket putting together combinations in my mind, and I read recipes and food blogs obsessively. OBSESSIVELY. But for all that the fact remains that all I really do is still love to shove as much food in my mouth as humanly possible.
That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed the little interlude – recipes from now on, I promise. Until then, peace and love.
Jax x

8 Responses to “And Now For Something Completely Different…”

  1. islandeat Says:

    Hi, Jax (I guess I shouldn't greet you that way in an airport).

    It was fun to read about you and your family, not to mention the "celebrity" who is your grandmother – does she have cookbooks still in print?!? Now I know it's genetic, in your case.



  2. Ashley Says:

    Cute baby jaxie!!! You were so adorable!! And still are, hehe.

  3. Jackie Says:

    Dan – thanks! She has some old cookbooks out there, nothing current though. And the obsession with food must be in the blood – it's nice to have an excuse now!

    Ash – ha, oh you. What can I say? I was a cute (if chubby) baby. Actually, funny story, the same grandmother said to me fairly recently, "Now you are a beautiful lady! When you were little, hm, not so much…" – brilliant.

    Jax x

  4. Monet Says:

    I love reading about people and their family's food history. It was so fun to read about your beautiful family. You were such a cutie, by the way!

  5. Ashley Says:

    hahaHA…your grandmother said that to you? That is sitcom status :)

  6. Jackie Says:

    Monet – bless, thank you!

    Ash – I know, I laughed my ass off.

    Jax x

  7. David Says:

    That last photo is Hilarious!

  8. Jackie Says:

    I know – clearly I'm a catch.

    Jax x

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