Updated: Jul 3, 2019
This is a first pancake of a post - lacklustre and lumpy.
Deserving of the bin yet misguidedly eaten out of puerile impatience. Noticeably more crap than crepe.
Hopefully this will bring everything to temperature and clear the grease from the poorly constructed metaphor of a pan, and with it restore some of my ability as a writer of full sentences.
The post is the start of a journey, a transformation and a long list of clichés.
Last week I quit my job.
By the time I work my 3 month notice period (groan) I will have been there just short of 7 years. 24% of my life. That's longer than any school I ever attended and f**k me it felt it!
I've done well there. Moved to London (a dream for a bumpkin). Met some amazing people (some). I even enjoyed the vast majority of it.
It even helped me achieve my almost life-long ambition to live abroad when I moved to Malaysia last year.
This could understandably be seen as where the wheels fell off... but this is only part of the story.
The reality is I've been in love with food for a long time. I cook. I eat. I read about cooking. I read about eating. I watch cooking videos. I watch eating videos. I dream about cooking... (you get the point).
A big part of this is a love of cooking for people.
To show off to friends, to impress women, to apologise to housemates and most importantly to celebrate with family.
Over the years I like to think I've got pretty good at it. 6-person Christmas dinner on a splitting hangover... No problem! 30-person Middle-eastern banquet for Granny's 80th.... Let's do it! 200-person pig roast and all the trimmings for Dad's 60th.... If you keep my pint topped up!
At all these events, and more, I was always asked the same question - "so when are you opening your restaurant?"
It's a question that I've always laughed off. I've worked in restaurants and seen firsthand the level of commitment it takes to make a success of it - "Nope not for me. Too much like hard work".
Not that I'm suffering a quarter (no third?!) life crisis or anything... but I've reevaluated a few things in the last couple of years.
Firstly, my career thus far hasn't exactly been a bloody cruise. Yes, I've often been found in the pub on a Friday afternoon but there have been periods where I've worked, quite frankly, really f**king hard. Often for low pay, and almost always for minimal recognition (if only in the short term).
Beyond that I've always had a strong work-ethic. Working in restaurants since 14, giving up summers to earn cash, double-shifts to fund travelling and 20-30+ hours a week in a Pasta bar during most of my not-so-straight-forward degree.
I realise that hard work was always an excuse.
I suppose the next question is why now?
The obvious answer being there is a chance that I will never be this free to do something so utterly irresponsible and risky. I've got a bit of cash from a career in part, no mortgage and no 3rd parties that are reliant on me (not that that was a realistic risk!)
Moving to Malaysia has also played a huge part. I'm constantly inspired, exploring new tastes and smells on a weekly if not daily basis and completely motivated to learn more. At this stage I have a million ideas, however I know that this food excited me and doing it justice is my Number one aim at this stage.
I just need a plan.
I'm blogging partly for self-indulgence (could a blogger honestly claim otherwise) and partly for structure.
For now, my plan is to stay in Malaysia, researching (read eating) and cooking until next Spring (when phase 2 will commence). To hopefully achieve something in this time I plan to archive my experience, product delicious and authentic recipes and hopefully tell a bit of the story of the rich food culture that exists here in my adopted home.
When thinking of my very first blog piece I wanted something all-encompassing, an ode to Malaysian food and a love-letter to the dishes that it constitutes of.
However, sitting down to write I became aware that I was woefully under-prepared. It will come but this first-pancake of a post seemed more appropriate - why not use up all the chewy clichés on the personal experience bit, hopefully saving the quality cuts for the much more deserving cuisine.
It's also been bloody hard to sit down and write. Firstly because of a weekend with too much "research" and secondly that I'm planning my first foray into cooking - my supper club.
The maiden event is lined up for Saturday (see the Supper club page). This gave me a prime opportunity for procrastination, instead choosing to make honeycomb and Kaya (coconut curd) which will form part of my Malaysian-British-fusion Sunday Lunch menu this weekend.
There will hopefully be much more coming from this blog in the coming weeks and months. If you've read anywhere near this long, then thanks. I hope that you will join me for the ride (last cliché honest).
I hope to submit a new piece once a week from now on. Feel free to write and complain if I don't!
Feedback on (inevitable) spelling and grammatical errors welcome.
Thanks, Tom! x
p.s. how pretty is this honeycomb?!