Childhood food memories: MasterChef 2010

6 May

I was catching up with MasterChef a few days back and I just can’t seem to stop thinking about the challenge that Alvin won – the Childhood Memory challenge (click to watch on the official website).

The challenge was for the contestants to recreate their fondest childhood food memories. To put their heart and emotions on a plate. To tell a story through wonderfully cooked food. After all, as Matt Preston puts it, “Memory, is the most powerful of our senses.”

Alvin, a Malaysian, won the challenge, and while I have no idea what the dish really tastes like that had the judges up in a spin, I do believe they are flavours I can fully identify with. And it led me to think, well, if it were me, what childhood food memory would I recreate?

This thought has flitted through my mind over the past few days, and I still don’t know. My mom is an excellent cook, in my opinion, it’s my mom, after all! But to pick a dish, and make it MasterChef worthy? Geez. I know there are things that drive me crazy and I’ll just gorge myself unnecessarily the moment she cooks it up for me (though it seems like pretty much.. EVERYTHING she cooks..) but to present it all pretty and attractive.. Hm. Birthday mee sua? Chicken rice..?

But I agree with Matt Preston. The power of memory when eating, makes a hell lot of a difference. It’s the reason why we still think moms/grandmas are always the best cooks, no matter what, it’s why we miss home when we are away, it’s what brings people together. When you’re hungry, and you fill that empty stomach, you inevitably feel that satisfaction and happiness. When food, cooked with love and care, it not only fills the belly, but warms the heart. Good food with a story, a history, a heart. Such food brings you back to your personal memories, and stir you from within. To be able to cook food like that, would take a great deal of heart and passion.

And I hope that if I do cook, that I will be able to convey that same heart and emotion to those who eat my food.

That said, what would YOU cook to recreate that childhood food memory?

*You can watch Alvin cook the dish as a recipe video from the same website. Note: Only people accessing the site from Australia can watch full episodes.


2 Responses to “Childhood food memories: MasterChef 2010”

  1. chocolatesuze May 7, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    i was surprised not many people did desserts! for me i have memories of carrot cake with a thick layer of cream cheese icing, peach slices, almond tarts, pandan sponge cakes…

  2. Sook May 9, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    hahaa mmm pandan chiffon cakes!! sadly kaya toast isnt exactly masterchef material.. hm.

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