CHRISTINA AROKIASAMY: Teaching Chef | Cookbook Author | Brand Ambassador
Christina Arokiasamy (Aro keeya samee), cookbook author and recognized teaching chef in America introduces the multicultural cuisine of Malaysia to all food lovers through her second cookbook The Malaysian Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt New York) due to release on March 21st , 2017. Christina was Malaysia's first official food ambassador to the United States and former chef of various Four Seasons resorts throughout Southeast Asia. She now teachers cooking classes in the Pacific Northwest and leads cultural and culinary tours to Southeast Asia.
Five Generations in the Spice Trade
For at least five generations, Christina's family have been involved in the spice trade. Their travels brought them to Malaya and the vibrant port cities of Malacca and Kuala Lumpur in present-day Malaysia.
Growing Up Among the Aromas
"As a school girl in Kuala Lumpur, I could always smell my house before I could see it. I was called the girl with yellow hands at school because I helped my mother ready the spices at the nearby mill." Christina also travelled widely across Southeast Asia, learning of the different cuisines of the region."
The Professional Chef
Christina is an accredited member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She honed her cooking skills while working for some of Southeast Asia's premier restaurants, including Four Seasons Hotels in Bali and Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The Sharing Kitchen
Christina has dedicated herself to transporting the Malaysian kitchen to the United States. Her classes have enabled many home cooks to enrich their own kitchens, and her books brought the beauty of Malaysian cooking to thousands of adventurous home chefs. Her teaching style is perhaps the most authentic and true dining experience to Southeast Asian cuisine and culture. The Seattle PI states, "The spice merchant's daughter will not open a restaurant. It's almost a shame. Her cooking bursts with such brilliant flavors, it would rank among the city's most thrilling places to eat.
Praise for Christina's First Book
In 2008, her passion and skill about food led to the publication of The Spice Merchant's Daughter. THis book received numerous accolades nationally and internationally:
- Publishers Weekly 2008 gave her book a starred review.
- In 2008, National Public Radio listed “The Spice Merchant’s Daughter” as 10 Best Cookbooks in America.
- The Wall Street Journal acclaimed, “There is perhaps no better candidate to write about this cuisine than Christina Arokiasamy, a formally trained cook of Indian ancestry whose mother was a Kuala Lumpur spice merchant.”
- The Boston Globe, quotes "The Spice Merchant's Daughter is one of the best culinary adventures I've had all year. Like the best adventures, it left me breathless and exhausted -- and ready to do it all over again tomorrow."
Her new book, The Malaysian Kitchen, is scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017./*