A cookbook of 147 faves from the Como Shambhala kitchen by Mrs Christina Ong.
Okay, what do we really know of the very private Mrs Christina Ong? Not much beyond the obvious – she’s the owner of Club 21 Pte Ltd and Como Hotels and Resorts – and close friends with Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani. With this cookbook, it’s like she just became our, well, Insta-friend. We don’t just get the most popular recipes curated by her from her world-class resorts, but also an insight into how she really likes her food and feels about it. In her one-page introduction, she opens up about why food has become important to her. She caught the bug – for healthful and good food – from watching her grandma cook when she was young, and from numerous trips to Italy (because of her fashion business) as well as eating at London’s The River Cafe (the UK outpost of the famous Brooklyn restaurant that was one of the first to source great produce in the ’70s). All three emphasised the same three things: eat fresh, local and seasonal. It would have been too easy if The Pleasures of Eating Well focused on just the three principles. So Mrs Ong made sure that it has fiexible recipes that fit into hectic schedules and different social settings, help people recuperate postillness or after exercising a lot, and don’t subscribe to any one eating trend – raw, macrobiotic, and so on. Why? Because “eating well is instinctive; it’s for energy and flavour, not calorie counting. Como Shambhala Cuisine honours the belief that our bodies tell us all we need to know.”
“I fi rmly believe that if one doesn’t enjoy food, it’s hard to enjoy life.” – Mrs Christina Ong
BY THE NUMBERS
• 13 – Hotels and resorts Como has worldwide, from the Caribbean to the mountains of Bhutan.
• 15 – Years that Mrs Ong took to catalyse her idea of healthful, delicious cuisine as an ongoing development of Como Shambhala Cuisine. She worked closely with all her Como chefs as well as ingredient suppliers to bring this vision to fruition.
• 18 – Months to put the book together, from concept to print, in response to constant requests from guests and customers of Como Shambhala Cuisine to share its recipes.
• 147 – Recipes that cover breakfasts to broths, juice to desserts.
The book is $95, and sold at Como Shambhala Urban Escape at DelflOrchard, Supernature at Forum the Shopping Mall, and Culina at Dempsey Hill.