As a writer, I have to confess to a secret thrill when I see my name in print. Any writer who tells you otherwise is lying. Of course, I'd prefer to see my name as the byline to a story, or, even better, as the author of a book very prominently displayed in all the windows of all the Barnes & Noble stores. But for the moment I'll settle for seeing my name mentioned in the acknowledgments page of a book, as I was this year. Not just once, mind you, but twice, when two very dear friends came out with their respective cookbooks.
KITCHEN CHICby Bambina Wise As Hong Kong pedigrees go, Claudia Shaw-d’Auriol’s is hard to beat. Born of a Chinese father and an Austrian mother, she belongs to the dynasty founded by her great-uncle, media mogul Sir Run Run Shaw, who started the film company Shaw Studios in 1930. She has three children with husband Guy d’Auriol, who is French and a godson of Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oreal fortune and the wealthiest woman in France. Considered one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful and best-dressed women, d’Auriol has long been celebrated for her innate chic; for the last ten years, in fact, she has been Chanel Hong Kong’s fashion buyer and style ambassador. Less known are her culinary talents and passion for entertaining, but that has changed with the publication late last year of a cookbook she co-authored with her good friend and accomplished cook Dominica Yang called DELICIOUS. The book’s launch, held at David Tang’s members-only Cipriani restaurant, was a glittering affair. Dominica Yang also belongs to Hong Kong’s A-list. The daughter of a renowned trial lawyer, she was educated in England. She pursued a career in photography in London before returning to the former British colony following her marriage to Trevor Yang, himself the son of the former Chief Justice of Hong Kong, the eminent Sir T.L. Yang. The idea for DELICIOUS came up one day at lunch, when Yang wondered aloud to d’Auriol what to do next now that two of her three sons had gone off to boarding school in England. It had always been her dream to compile treasured recipes into a cookbook. D’Auriol seized upon the idea, and the two friends put over 60 favorite recipes together for the book. The recipes reflect the authors’ multicultural backgrounds – there are Asian dishes, such as beef rendang and laksa, as made by Yang’s mother, as well as Western fare, including d’Auriol’s decadent Chocoholic’s Chocolate Gateau. “Our recipes are basically favorite tried and tested dishes that our family and friends have enjoyed in our homes over the years. It's not fancy cooking, but tasty dishes that can be easily prepared in a home kitchen. We love cooking and we love good tasty food, we thought it would be fun to rise to the challenge of putting a cookbook together!” In true Hong Kong style, both d’Auriol and Yang effortlessly juggle family with careers, charity work and a hectic social life. Despite their prominence in the society pages, both women are homebodies at heart who enjoy chilling out with friends and family at home or spending weekends on the boat, and, of course, cooking.