The Kettle Diet
WINE&DINE|September - October 2020
Is two a crowd? Or could Pinot and pu’er share a spot on the dining table?
Kenny Leong

Growing up in a home and country obsessed with food—my late grandfather came from Guangdong, the culinary haven of China, to Singapore where he once worked as a cook—I was brought up with the inclination that my family members and relatives knew a thing or two about eating and drinking. It goes without saying my grandfather was also yi jia zi zhu (meaning ‘the cook of the household’); my fondest memories are of eating with him and hearing him rant to my uncles about global affairs while sipping pu’er brewed in a large porcelain teapot.

As the years passed, that inclination grew to become a profession as I joined a hospitality school and pursued my ambition of becoming a hotelier or restaurateur. I later joined a food magazine where I could be paid to put all things delicious (or not) in my mouth. It was a major turning point in my life, not because I landed what I thought was a dream job, but because my superior instantly threw me into the deep end and made me write professionally about wine—a subject, which up until that point, I was not formally trained in. But swim I did, in copious amounts of Merlots and Cabernets, until one day my blood ran red enough to be made the wine editor of another food magazine.

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