– by Revathie Dhanabalan
I first met Amber Chan years ago in class and we became quick friends over a chat about Goo Goo Dolls. Back then, when we were just kids, we had always joked about Amber chasing her dreams to open a patisserie and maybe even getting into a culinary school in Paris.
Now Amber Chan is a baker-turned-stewardess who still dreams of opening her own bakery one day. Standing by her motto to ‘Live to Eat, Don’t Eat to Live’, Amber has travelled around the world sampling authentic cuisines and getting her baker paws into everything and anything – food wise that is! But what makes this baker stewardess intriguing is her ability to transform her Instagram account into a thought provoking, hunger inducing pictorial collage.
“My instagram account consists mostly of food, and more food. Occasionally a photo of my face will narcissistically appear on the grid but it is far and few in between. I regularly post photos of food I’ve had/am having in foreign countries and try to add a refreshing caption that describes in detail. Simply put, I tell short stories designed to entertain and invoke thoughts and/or feelings.”
I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to interview this lovely lady of sugar spice and everything nice. So, we got down to the nitty gritty of her love for food, her immaculate writing skills and of course the age-old question of what she sees herself doing/becoming in the future.
What made you start instagram-ing food?
AC: Food has always been my passion. I feel that food as a staple is not merely a source of sustenance but instead a form of joy, relief, enjoyment. People share and bond over food – it is a conversation starter. Instagram reaches out to a wide variety of people all over the world too so I feel it is a wonderful medium of sharing – be it a recipe or just a famous dish.
AC: What is life without a little whimsy and a little excitement. I believe I have a knack for describing events and objects in a way that captivates instead of bores (I hope you’re still reading). I also love to write as much as I love to eat so it’s a win-win for me. The urban jungle in which I was currently traipsing through inspired me. It can be a certain smell, how the Korean man dips his stick of skewered strawberries into boiling, bubbling red syrup, how the barista’s mustache twitches when he stretches the milk in a shiny metal jug.
What do you see yourself doing in the future?
AC: Honestly I am very happy with my job right now. Working as a stewardess opens up literally a world of supermarkets and eateries for me. I can get the most amazing avocados and chia seeds in Australia, grab a gorgeous fillet or two in New Zealand for a killer price, enjoy an authentic mutton kebab and fragrant apple tea in Istanbul, eat all the tteokbokki (spicy Korean rice cakes) I can stomach in the streets of Korea, have an excellent sushi meal at a standing sushi bar in the heart of Tokyo, visit and revisit all the wonderful cafes, swanky bars and popular restaurants of London.Most importantly, I can go back to Paris whenever I want to – the ultimate haven for baking enthusiasts with her gorgeous array of plump vanilla pods, sugary dried herbs and spices, bags upon bags of aromatic Valrhona chocolate, illegal-in-Singapore tonka beans… the list goes on. Oh and her pastries, glorious glorious pastries on every corner and every turn.
At the end of the day, Amber will always be a foodie at heart and Instagram is just Instagram. She may have endless number of followers but as told by Amber, “there is something exciting and magical in producing something with just a handful of ingredients. I find it absolutely riveting that a small amount of flour, sugar, milk and an egg can surmount to a tangible cake that is delicious to boot. There is magic in baking and I am but a wizard.”
Photo Credit: http://instagram.com/amberlica