Yu-ching Lee was born in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, but has spent the majority of her life in Sydney, Australia.
April Smallwood

3 Feb 2010 - 11:34 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

After graduating from University, Yu-ching
decided to pursue her interest in cooking. She currently works at Sepia
in the city. Her blog
Lemonpi focuses on the little things in life and the many things she
enjoys baking at home. Lemonpi is on Twitter if you want to say hello.

Your secret food shame...
Eating tinned tuna for dinner 5 days in a row, because I was home alone and couldn't be bothered to cook.

Ingredient you can't live without...

What inspires you and your food?
I cook for a living, so I get most of my inspiration from conversations I have with people I work with, about food.

What can you learn about a person from the way they prepare their food?
In a professional kitchen environment, you can usually expect to get on well with any person who works in a neat and organised fashion.

Can you pick a favourite recipe:

To impress...
I love making chocolate cakes – either a mousse cake or a standard baked flourless cake, topped with different textures of chocolate such as crumble and ganache. Chocolate Overload, some might say.

For the best comfort food...
Anything cooked in banana leaves including skate wing and otak otak (a spicy minced fish parcel), and everything with the word Sambal as a prefix.

For an easy weeknight dinner...
I try to cook at home as often as possible (provided there's more than one person in the house). My everyday dinners tend to be quite multicultural in approach, and not necessarily very authentic either (but I'd like to think they're still very tasty despite this). Some favourites include a chicken, mint and shredded cabbage salad spiked with chilli, fish sauce and lots of lime; kerabu bee hoon (a vermicelli noodle salad flavoured with prawns and toasted coconut); baked miso fish; linguini with garlic, chilli, anchovies and basil.

What chef has been your inspiration?
The ones I've worked with so far, including Katrina Kanetani, formerly of Pier Restaurant and Dan Puskas of Sepia Restaurant.

Favourite food event in Australia?
I'm looking forward to this year's Sydney International Food Festival. Hopefully the line up will be as interesting as 2009.

Favourite cook book, food show and cooking utensil?
Cookbooks – Mix & Bake by Belinda Jeffery and Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
Food Show – Top Chef
Cooking Utensils – Heat-proof spatula, small serrated paring knife

Favourite restaurant in your area?
Soban in Chatswood does a killer dolsot bibimbap. A little closer to home, I love Joe's Pizzeria Arax in Lindfield for their sujuk and bastourma-topped pizzas.