Malaysia stands at the crossroads of Asia, where three of the continent’s greatest cultures—Indian, Malay, and Chinese—meet and mingle. Malaysia was not always so vibrant, though.
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I’m often asked what style of food I cook at One Market. My stock answer, “Contemporary regional European,” is as hokey as it sounds. The truth is, I cook American food. So why do I cringe when I write that?
I have never wanted to run a temple of gastronomy, the kind of restaurant people come to solely for the food, the conversation limited to present culinary creations or past gastronomic pilgrimages.
When I opened my restaurant sixteen years ago, the word “hospitality” was foremost in my mind. I directed my attention toward the customers coming through the front door. I wanted to greet them with tantalizing smells and friendly smiles, to make them feel welcome.
Few people know that the best place to go for a fine Russian meal isn’t Russia, but Helsinki, Finland. I’m Finnish, and my knowledge of Russian cooking came straight from my grandmother, who worked as a chef in a wealthy household in the Åland Islands.
A simple dish of mutton and peas baked in terracotta in an Abruzzese farmhouse marked the beginning of my journey into the history of clay-pot cookery.
Once a year in may, the market traders of Dieppe take the ferry to Newhaven and set up their stalls in Bartholomew Square in Brighton, just off the sea front between the Palace and West piers.