Hi, I am Pamelia Chia, a Singaporean chef and author of Wet Market to Table.
Here’s a little about me.
My cooking journey began at the now-defunct Lollapalooza, where I was working under Issachar Lee. Though it was a very much a European restaurant, it was ironically where my interest in Asian cooking began. Issac was a devout Buddhist. He would go on religious trips in Southeast Asia, often learning to cook from the locals at the same time. When he returned, we would be treated to a whole range of Southeast Asian dishes that were nothing like what I’ve tasted in Singaporean restaurants. He cooked us Balinese chicken, raw eggplant salad and kao soi. Those dishes expanded my mind on how broad and diverse Southeast Asian cuisine was.
I went on to work at Candlenut, a Peranakan restaurant. It was there that I learnt to view our local food as something that is artisanal and that involves as much craft and skill as food from other cultures. Malcolm Lee, the chef and owner, always believed that sambals and kuehs should be recognized as being as artisanal as other artforms such as charcuterie and cheesemaking in the West.
My husband Wex and I moved to Melbourne in 2018. Leaving home and being forced to recreate my favourite dishes from home has only reinforced this notion that Candlenut and Malcolm drummed into me.
What is Singapore Noodles?
‘Singapore Noodles’ is the one item on Australian menus that Wex and I continually come across, there is nothing Singaporean about the dish. Like my Australian friend Abbie puts it, “it is just noodles with a bunch of Asian stuff in it.” It occurred to me that my friends abroad hardly know anything about the cuisine, apart from chicken rice and chilli crab.
I decided to create a platform featuring food that actual Singaporeans cook and eat, whether it is in the homes of passionate home cooks, at the hawker centers or at restaurants. It showcases the diversity of our country’s cuisine, encompassing Chinese, Malay, Indian, Peranakan and Eurasian cooking, which continually blend and influence one another.
In documenting these recipes and stories, I hope to not only bring Singaporean food to the global consciousness, but also preserve our culture and heritage for generations to come.
Right now, it is just a one-woman show, working independently on this. But, if any of this is meaningful to you and you’d like to be part of this in some way, please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or @pameliachia.
Latest posts by Pamelia Chia (see all)
- Celebrating Diversity in Singapore and Why It Matters - September 22, 2020
- Assam Fish, The Way My Mother Does It - September 19, 2020
- Paper Wrapped Chicken or Cantonese Ji Bao Gai - September 16, 2020