Wednesday, November 10, 2010

poh's book launch

On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to go to the launch of Poh's cookbook (For you poor, oblivious and deprived people out there who didn't watch Masterchef last year, she was runner up, and now has her own TV show on ABC). It was actually a complete coincidence I ended up going to this though. On the way to an exam on Saturday, I stopped at the shops and saw an advertisment for the launch in a pharmacy window where they were selling tickets, because as it turns out, the Pharmacist's wife owns the BookCaffe where the launch was. Amongst other things, the poster read, 'Inc Light Refreshments'.

And at that point, I knew it was a sign.

I arrived 11am and got my named ticked off (the sign at the door read: Private function: tickets only). Inside, the first thing I noticed was I was the youngest person there by about 20 years, and the poorest person by about a bajillion dollars. It was Swanbourne, after all. Secondly, I thought it might be a good idea to join the enormous line to buy her book. And while I was waiting there, Poh walked through the front door, dressed in a cute polkadot dress and kooky boots, smiling that geniune, enormous smile and looking positively delighted to be there. She was mother-henned around the place by her PR team, offered coffee (she had a flat white) and introduced to Susannah Carr from channel 7 who did the interview.

She was exactly how I remembered her from Masterchef: outgoing, cheerful and responded with wit and humour to all the questions they fired at her. She radiated that unmistakeable glow of someone who is passionate about life and following their dreams.

As soon as they invited people to come forward for book signing, me and Angela assumed battle positions: I shoved my way as violently and politely as I could towards Poh, and Angela shoved in the opposite direction for food supplies. We were reunited in the line and enjoyed reaping the rewards of our labour:

Baked chicken fortune bags, fresh vietnamese spring rolls (loved the refreshing mint in these) and moroccan pork nibbles. We also helped ourselves to free tea and coffee (they had complimentary soy milk on offer, I was absolutely ecstatic), as well as some adorable tiny cupcakes: flourless chocolate and almond-orange. The Italian waiter even arranged them nicely for me so that I could take a good photo.

The First Commandment of food blogging is: Thou shalt not put photos of thouself in posts. But this is just one of those times I'll have to make an exception. I don't really remember what we talked about in the 2.5 minutes me and Angela had to talk to her, but I do remember our mutual love of asian food coming up, and she said she liked the name 'Belle'. Win!

After that, me and Angie spent some time browsing the shelves with hungry, longing expressions on our faces. This place had a stunning collection of books with beautiful covers that just made you want to run a finger down their titles. It was like looking at expensive antique ornaments that you had to hold with the utmost care and admiration. I am, without a doubt, coming back to this place and putting their SLM's to the test.

The best thing I took away from yesterday (apart from her cookbook: Poh's kitchen, $39.95) was one of the things she said during the interview.

For those of you who didn't watch Masterchef 2009, let me fill you in: In the final episode, Poh went head-to-head with Julie Goodwin in three challenges: The Taste Test (identifying ingredients in beef bourguignon), Invention Test (core ingredient of chicken) and finally, the Pressure Test. For this test, Poh and Julie had to recreate Matt Moran's signiature dessert from his restaurant Aria: the Chocolate Tasting Plate.

When it came time to prepare the chocolate scroll, Poh stubbornly refused to temper the chocolate per the instructions on the recipe sheet. She cooked it on the stove instead of the oven, and then put it in the fridge even though the instructions specifically told her not too. The end result was: Poh, 75 points and Julie, 82 points. It is a generally accepted fact that Poh could have won Masterchef if she had only followed the recipe, as the difference was so narrow.

During the interview, Poh was asked why she didn't just temper the chocolate like she was told to. She just laughed and said:

"All of the good things in my life have come from the mistakes I've made, so I have no fear in making them."

She's my hero :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hahaha loved it ;]
and i remember you told her about how you were from malaysia and mentioned some town that poh went to aswell.

love your witty words and your style of writing, as always <3