I plunged into the chapter “My Story so far”. Yes, I was eager to know the story behind Andrew Johnson food journey in his new cookbook “AJ’s Food Roots”. Andrew was affectionately known as AJ for short by his friends and family. It surprises me to know that he was a chef. All this while, I only knew him as someone involved in the body-building arena.
As I read and turned the pages, I can feel his passion for food. Well, he started young at the age of 5. To be honest, I am not too sure what I was doing when I was 5. Most probably I was tearing and destroying my toys. His deep understanding of spices, herbs and roots helped him to create new recipes and improve old recipes with a little twist. Some of the recipes were from his mum, dad and auntie.
As I read on, interestingly, his first job was a local fisherman helper and was paid 5 ringgit. Fast forward, he went to a culinary school, met an accident and had broken toes, cracked ribs. He recovered and came to Singapore at the age of 20. He started working in Raffles Hotel. With his burning passion of food, he travelled to Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. As his mum is Sri-Lankan descent, naturally he felt quite at home in Sri Lanka.
I appreciate his next chapter “A Few Tricks”. I was always struggling with crab preparation. That put me off from cooking any crab dishes. One of the tricks in this chapter does help me to understand better on crab preparation.
The rest of the chapters were broken down into Beef, Chicken, Lamb & Mutton, Pork and Seafood. With a short background story on each of the recipe, it makes cooking more enjoyable and recipe easier to follow.
I was kind of carried away by his stories but it was the recipes that really make the differences in the cooked dishes. If you want to read more about his stories and his recipes, do grab one today at your nearest bookstores.
Here is a short interview I did with AJ.
More photos can be found at : AJ's Food Roots Album
For more information and updates on AJ, the chef, you may want to follow him at his facebook page at :