People 5 minutes 07 May 2016

5 Questions with Singapore's Foodie Mums

Find out what some of these familiar names have to say about their special day.

5Qs Singapore kitchen

When there’s a special occasion like Mother’s Day, it usually means there’s lots of food involved – this is especially true for foodie-mums like Dr Jade Kua, Charmaine Seah-Ong, Su-Lyn Tan, Dolores Au and Lynn Yeow-De Vito, each one a prominent name in Singapore’s buzzing F&B scene. We find out more about what Mother’s Day is like for each of these food-obsessed influencers, and how big a role food plays in their households.
Dr Jade Kua

Consultant for the Department of Emergency Medicine at KK Women's & Children's Hospital, wife to Emil Teo, who runs fine wine distribution company, Taste of Tradition, and mother of six Martin, 17, Mariesa, 16, Mariena, 14, Mark, 5, Marion, 3, and Marcel, seven months. Follow her on Instagram: @drjadekua.
What is the family's usual Mother's Day celebration like?

The little ones usually help their father cook up a storm for me and they’ve been doing an excellent job for the past couple of years.
Tell us about your most memorable Mother's Day treat.

I can’t decide on just one occasion, but my husband knows that I'm partial to homemade Peranakan food so he usually takes the trouble to conjure up a small feast with the kids and pairs it with some lovely Chateau de Beaucastel wine.
How big a role does food play in raising your kids?

Food is a central part of our lives and we tend to show our love through cooking (I refer specifically to my husband) and eating (I refer primarily to myself, although all the kids enjoy good food).
What food did you crave the most while you were expecting?

Fried carrot cake; I didn't care if it was white or black. My poor husband had to scour Singapore to bring the best back for me.
What's the best foodie tip you'd like to give to your own kids?

This one’s from my mother: Pay attention to what’s considered "heaty" and "cooling" food as all this affects the balance of life.

Charmaine Seah-Ong

Founder of branding and marketing agency, Elementary Co., and mother to 18-month old Charlie Rose Ong. Follow her on Instagram: @eleventhour
What is the family's usual Mother's Day celebration like?

On my family’s side, we’ve always celebrated my mother and our grandmothers by taking them out for a nice meal on Mother’s Day.
Tell us about your most memorable Mother's Day treat.

That would be the time I was in New York while I was still pregnant with my daughter, Charlie Rose. My whole family was there to celebrate my brother’s graduation and we had lunch over in Brooklyn. Why was it memorable? Because firstly, I was nauseous as hell thanks to the morning sickness, long walks, and the heat.
Secondly, I made the mistake of ordering a pasta that came with nothing but peas for lunch. I absolutely hate peas… So yes, for all the wrong reasons, it was the most memorable Mother’s Day celebration ever.
How big a role does food play in raising your kids?

It plays a huge role because my husband and I are such enthusiastic foodies and mealtime is where we share stories of our day and catch up with one another. It’s important to us that Charlie Rose learns to sit at the table and participate in the conversation. Also, she’s pretty adventurous with food so far and has a rather advanced palette for a kiddo. I mean, she likes ikura and caviar! 
What food did you crave the most while you were expecting?

My first craving was for bubble tea – milk tea with pearls, to be exact. Good thing we were staying in New York's Chinatown so I was able to satisfy that craving with minimal fuss.
What's the best foodie tip you'd like to give to your own kids?

There’s no such thing as too much chilli.

Su-Lyn Tan

Co-founder & CEO of integrated communications agency the Ate Group, and mother of Toby, 5, and one-and-a-half-year-old Tara. Follow her on Instagram: @sulyntan
What is the family's usual Mother's Day celebration like?

Our Mother’s Day celebrations usually revolve around celebrating both my mother and mother-in-law. We'd normally host a home-cooked lunch and each year the menu changes. Last year, we prepared a series of courses that reinterpreted our favourite dishes that our mothers had cooked when we were children.
Tell us about your most memorable Mother's Day treat.

It would probably be last year’s celebration. We really enjoyed selecting our most cherished childhood dishes to reinterpret, such as soy sauce braised chicken wings!. 
How big a role does food play in raising your kids?
Feeding my children is such a core part of being a mother for me. I try my best to set aside time to cook for my children, but since I’m usually at work during their mealtimes, I’ve created many recipes based on their taste preferences which I’ve taught my helper to follow.
What food did you crave the most while you were expecting?

During my second pregnancy, I’d make lunchtime runs to every new and interesting patisserie in town. I remember eating my way through major Tokyo food halls in between mealtimes. I think my husband was horrified that I could tuck away a whole purple sweet potato Mont Blanc and a houjicha pudding between leaving the department store and arriving at the train station mere minutes later on foot.
What's the best foodie tip you'd like to give to your own kids?

Prize quality over quantity. And don't overeat!

Dolores Au

Co-founder of online magazine cum e-commerce site Mummyfique and chief brand and marketing officer at Spanish Restaurant, Catalunya. Mother of five: Elizabeth, 17, Sophie, 7, Kira, 4, Charlotte, 14 months, Laura, 6 weeks. Follow her on Instagram: @dollywolly88
What is the family's usual Mother's Day celebration like?

Every year I would order a pretty cake and some desserts for grandma and all the mummies in the house, and my husband would usually fire up the grill and cook his delicious steaks, chicken wings, hot dogs and we'll have an all-American lunch. My older kids would usually surprise me with a Mother’s Day gift and cards.
Tell us about your most memorable Mother's Day treat.

There really isn't one occasion that has stood out more than others. ‎It has been year after year of special memories with my mother and the children; each one different, yet all equally matched in its significance.  
How big a role does food play in raising your kids?

I am an experimental foodie and will try anything once, as long as it doesn’t kill me and go against my ethics and principles. Hence, I bring up my kids to try everything at least once as well. I don’t take kindly to fusspots and nitpickers; they eat what I put on their plates.
What food did you crave the most while you were expecting?

I craved for different food with every pregnancy, but for the last one, I needed to have durian all the time. My husband isn't a durian fan though. But he did usually let me indulge, as long as he was not in the same room when I was devouring the fruit. 
What's the best foodie tip you'd like to give to your own kids?

Give thanks for every morsel of food, and for every drop of water you consume.


Lynn Yeow-De Vito

Founder of online parenting magazine Sassy Mama, director of the Ate Group and wife to Beppe De Vito of the Il Lido Group of restaurants. Mother of four boys, Marco, 12, Tanin, 6, Nico, 3, and Lucio, 21 months. Follow her on Facebook.
What is the family's usual Mother's Day celebration like?

My husband Beppe usually lets me decide what I want to do. But for the past few years, he has prepared some of my favourite dishes at home with the boys and gotten me flowers.
Tell us about your most memorable Mother's Day treat.

It hasn’t happened yet, but I believe it will by this year’s celebrations. My mother’s birthday falls on May 8 this year and I am planning to organise a big 60th birthday party cum Mother’s Day dinner at AURA, Il Lido’s newest Italian restaurant at the National Gallery.
How big a role does food play in raising your kids?

I make it a point to ensure my kids enjoy the best food – it doesn’t necessarily mean they get the most expensive kinds, but I would always choose a good, solid bowl of mee pok over a mediocre one for them. I also place great importance on getting them to appreciate organic ingredients, especially when it comes to home cooked dishes.
What food did you crave the most while you were expecting?

It was always the famous mee pok from Crawford Lane. Beppe, who hates queues, very patiently queued with me each time I craved it. I also ate so much durian, to be exact I had to have 12 durians a week, and Beppe ate it with me so that the smell wouldn’t get to him. If you can’t beat them, join them right?
What's the best foodie tip you'd like to give to your own kids?

Keep it simple!

People

Keep Exploring - Stories we think you will enjoy reading