Singapore Women's Weekly

Feast Of Flavours

as a child, Pamelia Chia dreaded the Lunar New Year. The author of Wet Market To Table shares, “I used to dislike the Lunar New Year when I was younger because I considered it an excruciating frenzy of dressing meticulously and socialising with people just for propriety’s sake.”

However, being away in Melbourne, the 28-year-old who now works part-time in Ima Café as she writes her next book, has changed her views. “Having lived overseas for close to two years, I view it from a different lens now. It is such a blessing to have a holiday where the whole family gathers for a meal and catch up with one another! Last year, I celebrated by having a mediocre meal at a Chinese restaurant. While back in Singapore, my family and friends were having amazing celebratory feasts. It made me think about how, in Chinese culture, one communicates love and kinship through food.”

Pamelia, who used to helm the curry and charcoal grill sections in the Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, Candlenut, recently launched Wet Market To Table, her “love song to the markets”. She understands that preparing a meal for the whole family can be daunting, and shares a few tips to stay sane:

• Don’t veer too far from tradition. “Definitely keep your menu CNY-appropriate. There are some recipes in the book that are particularly festive, such as the Cantonese Roast Duck and Prosperity Claypot.”

• Serve dishes you feel confident about. Pamelia shares, “If you can, I would recommend either practicing before the CNY meal or falling back on the recipes in your

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