POH LING YEOW Part 3 END 結束篇

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POH LING YEOW Part 3 END 結束篇

Reporter:Jo Phan / 潘在恩/South Australia Chinese Weekly

“I find when I walk down the street a lot of people that come up to me are a lot of girls from minority groups and they aren’t always Asian either.”

It is strange to think that this woman who I admired on Masterchef and watched avidly in her first season of Poh’s Kitchen felt out of her skin because throughout the interview I felt she was very well-define.

With Poh’s new season of Poh’s Kitchen and being a fan of her myself, she has constantly talked about her reconnection with her cultural roots and the aspects of cooking, which reconnected her back.

‘With the issues I had about not feeling like I fit in, it resulted in myself getting rid of the culture – I lost a lot of the language, I lost a lot of the cultural view. All these things I let myself let go of because I wanted to be normal.”

Looking back Poh felt sheepish that in her youth she wanted to get rid of her culture but now through her passion and love of cooking she is reconnected and rebuilt the bridge again to her culture. Learning how to recreate dished that reminded herself of her childhood and the memories that she associate with them. Food is an amazing tool and is an expression of our culture.

Poh describes a family dinner with her grandparents and the issues of the language barrier with the grandchildren unable to communicate in their grandparent’s language but for the mere event of all three generations coming together and eat a meal. Food is an amazing tool. The flavours shared in the meal link herself to the concept of family and the positive memories they shared together.

Chinese people are considered not to be very affection people in comparison to other cultures such as Italians but we show our affection and love in the food we prepare and share. We use it as an expression of our Asian culture, it’s like our own secret language and is such a strong expression of love, which breaks down whatever barriers we come across. Food is a powerful tool to hold us together.

Through the process of trying to track her down and organising a time to interview her I felt like playing cat and mouse, I just needed the right bait. I thank Christina Yeow, Poh’s mother who heavily helped me organised the interview. Poh is definitely a hard person to track down. She is definitely busy with the multiple different ventures she is undergoing. Season 2 of Poh’s Kitchen was nearly completed in filming when I spoke to Poh during this interview, she is currently also in the process of writing her second recipe book and she also has an exhibition in October in Adelaide for her art work. And there does not seem to be any point of slowing down.

“I want to continue doing everything I’m doing, I feel like lately I’ve spent more time on television than I have in my real life!”

She finds herself very comfortable working by alone. She enjoys diving into things and being submerged in her projects and loosing yourself. I can imagine that she has multiple doors open for her and the process for her now is to figure out which door to go through. However, she’s just enjoying the opportunities that present themselves to her.

她告訴我說,“當我走在街上時,我發覺許多向我走來的女孩子都是少數民族的人,她們不一定是亞洲人。”

當Poh在採訪中向我提及所有這些過去的經歷時,我覺得很難想像。這個我如此崇拜的MasterChef節目的明星,以及她在Poh的廚房( Poh’s Kitchen)節目中的自如表現都很難與這些經歷聯想在一起。採訪過程中的Poh表現得落落大方,優雅自如。

隨著新一季的“Poh的廚房”節目的推出,作爲她的忠實追隨者,我向她問及節目的深層意義。 Poh一直強調說節目中她融合了自身的文化根源和現代烹飪的發展。

她認爲,“我之所以感覺自己一直無法真正適應,主要是由於我丟失了許多文化的因素,我失去了一些語言;我失去了一些文化的觀點。我之所以放任自己任憑這些文化的要素逐漸丟失,是因爲我想變得像其他人一樣。”

回憶從前的日子,Poh覺得當時的自己非常懦弱。在青春年少時,她曾經試圖擺脫自己的文化背景;然而,隨著她對烹飪的熱愛日益加深,Poh似乎找到了另外一個渠道可以將自己與自己的文化背景重新聯係到一起。通過重新烹調出各種菜式,Poh也喚醒了自己的童年記憶和與各種美食聯係在一起的美好回憶。美食確實是一件神奇的工具,是一種人生的歷程,是一種文化的粹煉。

Poh向我介紹了她自己一家人圍坐在一起吃飯的場景,雖然祖父母一輩的人無法與孫子孫女一輩的人在語言上溝通,但是大家對美食的鑒賞力是一樣的,是那一桌豐盛的食物將全家人團結在一起。飯桌上食物飃出的香味總是會讓Poh聯想到家的味道,聯想到和家人美好的回憶。

與來自其他文化背景的人相比,如意大利人,華人常常被認爲是不太善於表達感情的民族。實際上,我們華人通過我們精心準備的、與其他人一同分享的美食來表達我們的情感和愛。我們利用食物來表達亞洲文化。美食就如同一道密語,不僅包含了濃濃的愛意,也能夠摧毀任何我們遇到的障礙。美食是將我們凝聚在一起的強大力量。

在追尋Poh本人的行蹤、安排時間對她進行採訪的過程中,我感覺自己好像在玩捉迷藏的遊戲。在此,我需要感謝Poh的母親Christina Yeow,沒有Christina的幫助我無法順利完成這次採訪。前期準備過程之所以如此困難,主要是由於實在難以確定Poh的具體行蹤。目前的Poh肩負數項任務。在我採訪Poh時,由她擔任主角的“Poh的廚房”第二季拍攝進入尾聲,而Po​​h還編寫第二本烹飪書籍以及為10月份即將在阿德萊德舉辦的作品展做準備。所有的一切都催促著Poh大步向前。

Poh興奮地說,“我希望可以繼續做我現在做的事情,我感覺最近我花在電視節目上的時間比我的日常生活的時間還要多!”

她坦言說自己很享受獨自一人沉浸在工作中。她享受全身心地投入,享受被工作包圍的感覺,享受那種忘我的境界。我能夠想像有那麽多機會之門向她開放時的情景,目前的Poh在努力探索那一扇真正的機會之門。然而,不管將來的日子會如何,現在的Poh正快樂地享受著自己熱愛的工作。