A little bit about me
Hello Everyone! My name is Allison, born and bred in Brunei, further educated in Australia, but the blood of a Filipino runs in my veins; truly a third culture kid at heart. Besides my interest in all things food related, I love immersing myself in nature and adventures of which include bushwalking, hiking, travelling, and other adrenaline-pumped activities such as rafting. Other interests include writing, photography, boxing, swimming, and designing.
snippets of my recent travels to the North Island of New Zealand
I studied at the University of New South Wales, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Design, Graphic & Environments/Spatial, and besides my two majors, my degree has also allowed me to explore other areas of design such as ceramics/pottery, object, photography, and basic web design.
I am currently based in Brunei, working 6 days a week as a Senior Creative Design and Event Management Executive for a leading advertising agency. Oh, and not forgetting to throw in Event Management, Event Photographer, and Magazine Editor/Copywriter into my scope of work. It does get exhausting, but I do enjoy being able to take on other tasks besides my field of expertise.
snippets of my work life
Growing up, food for me was just something that my mother cooked, and though I appreciated and loved all the Filipino food that she cooked for the family, that’s really all it was to me – to satisfy my hunger, three (sometimes four) times a day. It wasn’t until that I left for university that I really started to grow into an interest for cooking. During my first year at university, I was a shit cook; I didn’t even know how to make sunny side up eggs! My meals would consist of take away, pre-packed, microwavable, and on some occasions, home-cooked food that was of very low quality. I basically ate to survive.
Now, I love to cook & I love to eat. I remember my high school French teacher telling us that the French “live to eat” and not “eat to live” meaning that food is something more than just fuel. I am definitely a person who lives to eat, because food for me is a lifestyle that brings happiness amongst family and friends. I have not taken up any culinary courses, or any culinary-related courses; and besides cooking, I also style and photograph all my dishes.
A little bit about this blog
One fine Wednesday afternoon, I was sitting in my room, quite possibly still in my pyjamas, staring blankly at the list of assignments that needed to be done over the mid-semester Easter Break that I was on for my second-last semester of the year. I was basically bored and not bothered to continue working on my many university assignments, and thus decided to explore the world of wordpress for a bit. After an hour or so, Amcarmen’s Kitchen was born on April 16, 2014.
In mid-2015, I attended a talk on the Business of Food Blogging, and managed to speak with one of the guest speakers that night, Bella Jakubiak, 2011 My Kitchen Rules Australia Winner alongside her sister Sammy. From our short discussion, Bella raised an interesting point which made me realise that I needed to have a theme and express who I am as a person, not just through the content of my blog, but also through my food. It was actually perfect timing to be honest because I was in the middle of reimaging my blog before I spoke to Bella. I told her that my recipes were all over the place, and she said that yes, everyone out there loves food, so what can I do to separate myself from the many food bloggers out there? What’s my niche? If you had been following Amcarmen’s Kitchen from the very beginning, you’d know that my blog had no clear sense of direction, and it wasn’t well taken care for for the first year it was up an running.
I thought long and hard about this, and really diversity is really what I am about, and who I am I guess. I am a third culture kid, I grew up outside of my home country, but indulged in food from home, as well as the vast food culture in Brunei. I studied in Australia, which is highly multicultural in both race and food offered. This is why I know a lot of dishes outside my roots and why I am always interested in learning new dishes from different cultures. And thus, Amcarmen’s Kitchen is back as ‘The Third Culture Foodie’. Not only did I develop a brand, I also changed the theme of my blog: minimalistic and choosing a colour that suits more towards who I am as a person.
This blog will predominantly feature recipes of my home cooked meals – ranging from my roots, Filipino food, to all sorts of Asian Cuisines such as Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. and of course Italian and Western Cuisines. I would really want to expand my horizons and experience/learn to cook more European and Middle-Eastern Cuisines. My blog will also feature photographs and reviews of cafés and restaurants from my travels.
I hope that you enjoy going through my blog, and if you are a new follower, I suggest that you read all about my kitchen journey of how I started out as a terrible 19-year old girl who left the nest and struggled to feed herself throughout her first year at university. I am amazed at how far I’ve come from being that girl. Cheers!
– Ally xx