Sunday, October 28, 2007

All About Me

With a personal heritage infusing France, Indonesia, and Malaysia (and with a lengthy stay Stateside) it's hardly surprising that Alexandra knows her sambal from her shallots -- The Expat Magazine

You would probably think that someone who is writing a food blog and is completely food obsessed grew up around kitchens and food enthusiasts. I, however, did not.

I'm Malaysian by nationality, but mixed French, Indian and Chinese by race. I was born in Penang where I lived till I was four years old, then moved to Kuala Lumpur where I stayed till the age of seven. My father then got a job in Jakarta, Indonesia and that is where my family was whisked off to for the next ten years. Growing up in Indonesia we had a cook who cooked all our meals, and if it wasn't the cook it would be my mom in the kitchen. I did not even know how to boil an egg till I was 19, in my second year of university in Pittsburgh and moving into my own apartment.

My options for food were bleak. It was either instant ramen noodles, cheap pizza with an almost plasticky cheese consistency, or... starve. When faced with such dire circumstances I decided it was time to learn how to cook. I started off easy, spaghetti with ragu tomato sauce, spaghetti with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, spaghetti with butter...I'm sure you see a pattern was spaghetti in any possible way that required the least amount of cooking time. I did not like being in the kitchen! The very thought of it scared me. I was terrified at the possibility of poisoning or killing someone with my food because I had no clue how to handle it.

Eventually I got tired of the same meals and the lack of creativity and started to learn simple dishes. As I got more confident in the kitchen I started inviting friends over for dinner. It must have been the ego stroking that started out my initial passion as these dinner parties were a success and compliments were thrown my way. I didn't kill anyone with food poisoning and my friends came back for more; they actually liked it.

My obsession grew and I couldn't get enough of food and food related topics. I started watching the Food Network, reading books by chefs, food critics and more...and then I moved to New York for a year...this is what made me sure of the fact that I wanted to work in a food related field. The caliber of restaurants in the city was unlike what I had ever experienced. Food was glamorous, chefs were applauded, and restaurants constantly reached for new heights. I had never been so passionate about something before and I knew that food would forever be in my plans for the future.

Which brings me to the present...I write for The Expat and Senses magazines in Kuala Lumpur. Here, I get to write food reviews and a bimonthly recipe column among other things. I also do freelance food writing...I'm learning more and more about food photography each day(I currently use a Canon Digital IXUS 60 and am saving up to buy a DSLR and a great Macro Lens)...I cook almost everyday and my food choices are generally healthy...unless I make desserts and here I will not attempt to be healthy...after all dessert is an indulgence...I am also blogging about my experiences as regularly as I can...all in all I'm enjoying myself every step of the way!


Ruben said...

greetings Alexandra

we are a new company that is looking for food writters for our magazine and if you are interested please email me at or my editor at
and we can provide further details.

Vivien said...

hi Alexandra,

you are listed in

Vivien said...

May i know what camera you are using in regards to photos in your food blog? I am doing a personal survey before buying a new camera as current photos in my blog kinda sucks, i am using a 5-years-old Pentax Option4S. Thanks for your help

possible email me back at vivien_1223[at]yahoo[dot]com

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Hey Vivien,

I only use a Canon Digital IXUS 60...nothing special :) but I must say it has quite a nice macro setting. I'm looking to upgrade at some point as I'd like a DSLR for my food shots.


alice said...

i love your blog, its so informative and interesting…
i am actually working in an event management company, there will be time where we would love to invite good bloggers to attend the events that we’re having.
Can you kindly give me your email address so that when there is such events, we can send you online invitation =)
***Please email to

hope to hear from you.