About Us

We are both hobby-cooks who love to come home and cook after a long day at work. We find it relaxing, it takes our mind off the day, and rewarding to create something that can be appreciated instantly.

It also helps that we both love to share the kitchen and cook and bake together.

We have lived all over the world, from India to France, The United States, Singapore, England, China, Nigeria, Switzerland, Canada ... and we still love to travel. We have been around Europe, Asia, and North America ... so we also try to bring a bit of our history and worldwide culinary experience into our meals.

About Shyamal:

I grew up in Nigeria, India, and Singapore with a mother who loved to cook and is an excellent chef. She was always happy to have me lurking around in the kitchen, even if it was just to lick the cake pan when she was baking, or taste the various dishes she was preparing. This gave me a fond appreciation for cooking, especially the South-Indian variety that was often served at home. This is no pasta and tomato-sauce preparation, it takes hours of work and more spices than you can shake a cinnamon-stick at, and my mouth still waters thinking about all those flavours my mother would so exquisitely blend.

My love for food really blossomed when we moved to Singapore, which I still regard as a foodie's paradise. Street cuisine in Singapore taught me that sometimes all you need are a few main ingredients, a hot wok, and some soya sauce and chilli paste. It also taught me something that I consider to be the most important lesson in cooking: You can blend flavours from various styles of cooking and create something spectacular. There are no boxes, no rules, no stuffy chefs in mushroom hats telling you that a Thai herb cannot be used in a French sauce. The only judgement comes from your own taste buds.

Finally, my university years in the US gave me a chance to try out my culinary prowess in the kitchen, and to make many, many mistakes that I learnt from (at the expense of my roommates). I went on to develop a real fondness of cooking, especially meals that can be served relatively quickly and without grand preparation. Sometimes, I would refer to published recipes as a baseline, then disregard the ingredients and create something new. Other times, I would simply wonder what would happen if I made a dish with this, that, and the other thing and see what happens. 

I hope to share those recipes with you, to show you what I learned about easy cooking and I sincerely hope you enjoy cooking these dishes. 

About Charline:

I was born in the Champagne region of France, where I grew up until moving to the southwest for university.
I discovered cooking and baking when I was a child through my mom's and my maternal grandmother's kitchen, and I can definitively said that my love for cooking comes from them.
I always remember that having a home-cooked meal and sitting at the dinning table with my family for dinner was something sacred. My mom is a really good cook and taught me that a home-cooked meal doesn't take that long to prepare and we can always diversify the dishes.
With my grandmother, I learned to bake (which I have to admit I prefer to cooking). I spent Wednesday afternoons watching and learning how to make cakes, it was always a lot of fun as my grandmother always let me try to experiment and bake for myself.

I love French food, so let me share a secret about it with you: *whispering* French recipes are not all as difficult and fancy as they seem ... so do not be afraid of cooking or baking them.

I lived in Bristol and Oxford, UK, and even if I am not going to make many friends here, I have to admit that England didn't bring too much to my love of cooking. I had to resolve to buy organic food and shop at farmers' markets, and the grocery trip to the supermarket, which is usually a moment I treasure, turned to be quite a challenge. Sorry my dear British friends, but between the times I lived in Bristol and in Oxford, ten years went by and the quality of the food didn't improve. One thing I am pleasantly grateful for in the UK was the discovery of Indian food, authentic and delicious Indian cuisine!

Living in Seattle, USA for seven years was a great experience: I enjoyed shopping at different farmers' markets and discovering some desserts, such as carrot cake, cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, laced cinnamon apple pie and other delicious treats, for which I will try to share the recipes. I was delighted to live, travel and visit different states where the food is so specific: ooh the Thanksgiving meal with its pumpkin pie, the mac & cheese, the barbecue ribs, the New York pizza style ... and the the Chicago style too, the pancakes, and so much more ... I also enjoyed the variety of foods you can find, ranging from Japanese to Mexican as well as Indian and great American steakhouses.

I have also lived in Shanghai, China where I discovered the genuine Chinese cuisine, from fancy restaurants to street food.

I love to travel and have visited Europe, Asia, and North America, and one of the things I love to do when I travel is taste the locals dishes, so what is a better place than the world's kitchens!

My fiancé and I, having lived in different places, both bring something different to the kitchen which makes things always interesting ...

Whether it is the countries I have lived in or the ones I have visited, my sweet spots, food wise, are the desserts. But, as a foodie, I also fancy some good tapas and a typical Singaporean carrot cake amongst so many other dishes that one page wouldn't be enough to cover ...

After years of cooking, there is some advice we would like to share.  You don't need to have a huge kitchen and some fancy cooking equipment to be able to cook, enjoy cooking, and succeed at cooking ... Of course if you have all of that, it's a plus and it would a shame not to use them, so come on, grab a pan and a spatula and heat up those gas burners ...

If you don't have fancy equipment, don't worry; you won't be that penalized. We don't have a spectacular kitchen or some fancy equipment, and we still enjoy cooking, and we are even quite good at it.  But with experience, we have learned that it is worthwhile to invest in good equipment, such as a  good set of knives, a good frying pan, some silicon molds (which is our preference, but non-stick molds are great too), a good whisk, few good spatulas, a cutting board ... and obviously when you find your favorite recipe to create, buy the appropriate equipments so yo won't ever fail it.

We welcome comments, and would love to hear from you.