MasterChef Australia’s audience favourite, Billy Law, of Malaysian Chinese descent, now resides in Sydney and is proud to call Australia home.
In 1996 Billy moved to Toowoomba, Queensland to further his studies. Thousands of miles from the country of his birth, he missed home cooked meals tremendously. That’s when he picked up a spatula and a wok and his passion for cooking began.
“When it comes to cooking, my biggest inspiration has to be my mum. You will find some recipes on my blog that I’ve learned at my mother’s side, even though we weren’t really allowed to touch anything in the kitchen but only to observe. I do believe this was great training as I now cook by following my instincts and am always ready to explore new flavours, rather than to strictly follow recipes”.
I love food in all its wild variety and I believe we should try everything once, love it or hate it.
With his Asian background and the influence of western culture, he counts himself lucky to have been exposed to some of the most spectacular cuisines from both worlds. Billy is always on the move, with his camera, travelling to different countries, exploring cultures, submerging himself in the sights and sounds of the culinary world.
Billy Law is one of Australia’s top food bloggers. A Table For Two (www.atablefortwo.com.au), features some of the best eats from Sydney and around the world with drool-worthy food photography to whet your appetite.
His passion for cooking led him to Masterchef 2011 ultimately hitting the top 10. Since leaving the competition, Billy has submerged himself in the food industry, working part time at a patisserie, cooking demonstrations, appearances at food festivals.
Billy has just published his debut cookbook, “Have You Eaten?” is now wide available in Australia, NZ, UK and US in April 2013.
Guest Chef – Jackie M
One of the most recognisable names in the Malaysian food scene in Australia today, Jackie M’s reputation is built on her no-holds-barred approach to mastering the cuisine of her home country.
Since launching her business in 2002, she has spent countless hours researching and experimenting with recipes from her country of birth and today, Jackie M can lay claim to having possibly the most extensive and varied repertoire of Malaysian street food in her skillset not just in Australia but globally.
As well as a restaurant and stalls at numerous farmers’ markets, Jackie M also produces her own range of curry pastes and frozen meals that are distributed nationally from her commercial premises in Concord, Sydney.
A future as a cook was the last thing on Jackie’s mind growing up in the small town of Seremban in Malaysia, where her parents’ own start in life was in selling street food. As with her siblings, her parents’ plans were for her to receive the education they never had and move on to a well-paid professional career.
Jackie (Tang) moved to Australia at 17 years of age, graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) and subsequently worked as an IT consultant (MCSE/CCNA/CNA) in Sydney and London. For awhile, she also moonlighted as a TV presenter, doing a weekly movie review/gig guide segment on Sydney’s Channel 31.
Returning from the UK in 2001 and still frustrated at the sparse offerings that passed for Malaysian food outside of her home country, Jackie finally took up her parents’ mantle and ditched her IT consultancy in favour of recreating the complex flavours that define the cuisine of her childhood. She hasn’t looked back since.
Amid the rollercoaster ride that has marked her career, Jackie has a deep respect and connection to the street food vendors back home in Malaysia, most notably from the stories she’s heard about her parents’ own humble beginnings. Her mission today is to bring global recognition to the vibrant food scene that makes Malaysia so unique as a destination and to this end, she is actively involved in promoting Malaysian food wherever the opportunity arises.
Jackie is equally proud of her country of birth, her adopted country of Australia as well as her Hakka-Chinese descent. She has a keen interest in languages, having grown up speaking and/or studied a total of eight at last count.
Jackie is a proud parent to Baby Noah who was born in May 2012 with Down Syndrome and multiple life-threatening conditions including hydrops fetalis, duodenal atresia and AVSD; he finally came home from the hospital at 7 months of age, a week before Christmas 2012 - http://serembangirl.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/baby-noahs-journey/