by Eunice Chan
"Context and memory play powerful roles
in all the truly great meals in one's life."
– Anthony Bourdain
If you allow your senses to fully invigorate the journey of scent, taste, instinct, nature and passion, you will find that the entire experience becomes a euphoric memory to savour and behold, one deposited in your grey matter for eternity and ingrained within you, from the tip of your tastebuds to the last tingling sensation in your toes.
No, it isn’t just about the kerabu and pongteh in reference and reverence to, rather the story of Guan Leong and Joanne’s steadfast love, unending grace and faithful heritage bound by the gastronomic common ground they share.
As the Cordon Bleu graduate and world-acclaimed gastronome knotted his long-time sweetheart Joanne, Guan Leong’s heritage of the Peranakan seeped through the wedding ever so tastefully with much richness from their culture and lineage to a cornucopia of amazing Nyonya chows and Baba delights.
The wedding was so perfectly seasoned and the radiance shown in both their faces was simply unfazed by the overwhelming attention given by their Kebaya-clad aunties and endless gushing over Joanne’s exquisitely embroidered Cheongsam. It was a huge melting pot of emotions that brewed through the morning during their tea ceremonies as laughter, tears and joy simply ran overflowing in celebration of the author of ‘The Boy Who Ate The World’ and his opulent wife.
In contrast to the pristine, colonial columns and crisp, uniformed guards transported from the British era at the ever-spendid Majestic Hotel, their union was decked in a brilliant burst of vibrant colours and textures, in much honour and pride of the ancestral heritage. With batik prints and Nyonya tiles lining the corridors, antiques and gilded items perched elegantly, and the aroma of kuih-muihs and tropical blooms filling the air, the jubilee was truly a remarkable sight to regard and remember.
And if you were to ask us what a wedding should be like, the right equivalent would be to that of a warm and comforting pot of ‘Chai Buey’, with a pinch of loving sweetness, a dash of spicy kick-ass traditions and a touch of that familiar scent of love from that one family you can always count on for the rest of your lives.
To Guan Leong and Joanne, may you continue to hold the world in the palm of your hands and leave on the trail of heritage as you continue your gastronomic adventures with one another in unfailing love.
Cheers to more amazing recipes and tales of lemongrass, belacan and galangal adventures.