cover art for Sharon Wee: Growing up in a Nonya Kitchen

Cooking the Books with Gilly Smith

Sharon Wee: Growing up in a Nonya Kitchen

Season 8, Ep. 12

This week, Gilly is with New York food writer, Sharon Wee whose book Growing up in a Nonya Kitchen tells the story of Peranakan cuisine, a largely unknown type of cookery from Singapore, Malaysia and Malacca which was part of a craft culture binding Chinese women, including Sharon’s mother, into the fabric of a very particular lifestyle.

Sharon’s book which first came out in 2012 in Singapore has become much better known as the subject of plagiarism in an astonishing story that has gripped the food community over the last few months.  She’s not allowed to talk about it for legal reasons, and Gilly is much more interested in a food culture that was part of her early childhood in Penang, so here's the story of the nonyas and the babas and a little known cuisine.


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