How Food has Shaped My Life

How Food has Shaped My Life

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Hello everyone, Logee here! It’s my turn on the Picha blog and I wanted to share a little about how food has shaped me to be who I am today. No, I’m not talking about physical appearance here (though I must admit, food does make me round </3), but I’m talking about how food has shaped my identity, personality & ultimately my life.  

So here are some food for thoughts:

#1 – Food made me a Morning Person

Growing up in the suburbs of KL in the 90’s, wet markets and the backroads of our residential area were my favourite places to go to. I’d wake up early every weekend to go look at fresh seafood, vegetables or get my breakfast from the morning market.

Looking back, I remember a lot of yelling in…probably Hokkien since everything in Hokkien sounds like yelling + I’m from Klang. That’s the Malaysia I will miss if I moved elsewhere.

Our hawker stalls, our wet markets, yelling in 5 different dialects, rats running around like Longkang Kings and very questionable hygiene in food stalls. We ain’t no Singapore and every uncle would say  “That’s why the char kuey teow tastes better here” haha (thank God I’m still alive!)

Until today, I still love mornings and heading to the kopitiam for fresh pau or curry mee at 730am, chatting to the random uncle on the next table.


#2 – Food has shaped my Culture

Food was (and is) such a big part of life, that I learnt communication in old coffee shops and negotiation at the wet markets. It made me explore the nooks of KL and the suburbs just to try something new. Every walk down a different road and meeting different people made me feel more human.

I very soon understood that everyone was very different and that’s what made me love people and different cultures. The same habit followed me on my travels and led me to falling in love and breaking up everytime I had to leave. To me, meaningful conversations rarely arise from “despite our differences” it’s always “because of our differences” and it is within these differences we find similar shared values of love, trust and honesty.

#3 – Food has shaped my Values

I’ve always looked up to the good cooks (or chefs if you prefer). If ever I’m alone at a restaurant, I would peek into the kitchen to watch the chefs work. Their ability to wake up at dawn and stay on their feet ‘till late, surrounded by deadly things… Fire, knives, heavy pots and pans, is nothing short of impressive.

Chefs always have to think on their feet to ensure every single item leaving the kitchen is up to standards, manage the kitchen staff and then have time to come up with new menus or just sharpen their skills and be the best at what they do. Their curiosity and willingness to learn and listen from people around them has taught me to be open, be curious and focus on execution and perseverance.

#4 – Food has raised my Standards for Life

My perspective of life can be defined by my experience with food. Turning my nose up at that watered down Milo in kindergarten, knowing exactly who brought yummy food from home and then graduating to school where I gave priority to my friend’s parents so they’d send me extra yummy food when they cooked; yeah I had clear intentions and it wasn’t really a secret.

Having high standards about my food = having high expectations about my quality of life, how I spend time and with whom. If you add food (value) into my life, then I would be more inclined to want to spend time with you. So don’t waste my time with terrible Milo ok. And that leads me to my last point…

#5 – Food led me to the Picha Project!

You’d realize I never once mentioned about eating at fancy restaurants.. I haven’t tried a Michelin starred or any 5-star restaurant yet. I think it’s time to put them in my bucket life because they are amazing.  

But nothing can ever beat a home cooked meal by mums (or dads). It’s blind conviction, and I am open to being proven wrong. But because of my love for home-cooked food, this has led me to work with the Picha Project. The law of attraction might actually be real? Dang! Now I get to try home cooked food from 5 different countries. And I haven’t gotten over how cool that is despite being 9 months into the job (Editor’s note: We have open positions in the Picha team now!!)

Granted, I could’ve learned these a lot of other ways but food and the art of melding flavours and textures have always inspired me in life and it will continue to do so for as long as the world keeps evolving.

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