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My Journey from a Home tutor to a Home Chef :)

Before I start with my story, I thought it might be interesting to watch me in action during the Mediacorp Cooking Competition: King of Culinary(三把刀). Credits to Mewatch, the media provider.

I'm the 2nd contestant, can forward to 19:40 mark to see me in action.

My well-earned KNIFE trophy after winning the 1st stage.
Media coverage. I feel so shy yet very proud :)
Winning Babi Assam dish.

Little bit of history

Coming back to my story, my name is Pek Sheiw, also better known as Aunty Pek. I grew up in a typical Chinese family. My grandparents migrated from China to Malaysia and worked hard to make a living through their small home business.

Growing up, I was very close to Grandma (Ah Ma), which explains my deep passion for whipping up nostalgic home-cooked cuisines. What I remember the most while growing up is how I spent countless hours tagging along with Ah Ma - from going to many wet markets to find the best cooking ingredients, to the fun times in the kitchen where I fondly remember making many sauces and soups from scratch, using the freshest raw ingredients that Ah Ma and I sourced from the local wet markets.

I'm currently full-time in my home-based cooking business. But the decision to go full-time is a very difficult one!

My Love for Cooking

My deep love for cooking has always stayed with me throughout my life. In my childhood years, I spent countless hours with Ah Ma in the kitchen and wet markets. When I was an undergraduate, I was working part-time in a restaurant, again enjoying my time with food. After I started a family, cooking a heart-warming meal and seeing my family's satisfaction means the world to me. I take a lot of pride in my cooking, and I always feel very excited to share my recipes and dishes in gatherings such as birthdays and new year celebrations.

Life before being a home-chef

Before I embark on my home-cooking business journey, I was a private home tutor, teaching Chinese to primary and secondary school children. I really enjoy teaching, and often incorporate lessons that I can find in daily lives. And my Kitchen is one of my most loved teaching resource. All my students know that I love cooking and sometimes they do request me to cook a meal for them as a recognition if they score well for their Chinese assessments. Well, of course they would prefer an iPhone ;) if they had a choice.

Just like a sudden bolt of lighting from nowhere

Since I utterly love cooking, many of my friends asked me why don't I make it my career? Even though I often get good reviews, I never felt confident to bring my food and recipes to real customers and charge them for it.

The turning point came in the most unexpected manner. After cooking one of my family favourite Babi Assam for dinner, I saw on TV that Mediacorp was launching a cooking competition King of Culinary (三把刀). Just like a sudden bolt of lightning from nowhere, I thought about entering the competition. After a few calls with my close friends, I brought my family dinner to the audition.

The absolutely frightening fact, which dawned upon me at the audition, was that the competition format was designed to be competing against real chefs, in fact the well known local celebrity Chefs.

What happened after that - I passed the audition, prepared really hard for the competition, and went for it!! You can view the full competition video at the top of the page.

After this competition, quite a number of events continued one after another, and finally led me to today. I'll leave the events to next time. But, this is it, really the turning point that happened out of nowhere. Hope you like the story, and maybe this also encouraged some one who's thinking about going after his/her passion, whether it's cooking or teaching or whatever it may be.

Final moments of competition and the results.

The judges: Pan ling ling, Taiwanese Chef James Cheng, Lynn Yeow-De Vito

Chef Eric Teo and me.

Chef Eric Neo and me.

Chef Pung Lu Tin and me.

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