I was nervous when I knew I was going to interview Chef Anis Nabilah, but I needn’t have worried. She was such a joy to interview! Even after years of doing the PR rounds, she’s still full of energy and enthusiasm for her cooking passion. By turns hilarious and charming, she kept me hovering between admiration and laughter as she entertained (yes, entertained!!) me with colourful anecdotes of her cooking journey.

For the uninitiated, Anis is one of Asia’s region’s most highly sought television chefs. Her debut cooking show Icip Icip 2007 was the first Malaysian programme to be picked up by the Asian Food Channel.

Unlike the meticulously-planned cooking programmes of the time, the fast-cut show format was often wildly improvisional. Audiences would see Anis scrambling to look for her ingredients, just like a harried housewife in a working kitchen. “Sometimes we planned the menu in advance, but there were days the producer would tell me in the morning we’re going on a boat along the Sarawak river and you’ve gotta whip up something on the fly. Err … what to cook? Fish, of course!”

In this interview for Going Places, she speaks about championing for our oft under-rated Malaysian cuisine. Her story is here, from Pages 50-53.