Hello, greetings, and salutations!

Welcome to Graceful Cuisine, where the motto is eat and cook smart, enjoy your kitchen, and have fun with food!  My name is Grace and I am the chef, photographer,Grace writer, and editor here at Graceful Cuisine.

It has been a dream of mine to create my own website and food blog as a means to share my recipes, rekindle your love for cooking, and/or light a spark at your dinner table.  Whether you are a newlywed cooking for two, a parent cooking to feed your family, or just cooking for yourself, I am very excited to accommodate your needs while sharing a little about myself personally and professionally.

Kindling my inner chef……

Nth generation Chinese girl, daughter of parents with an ascending lineage of ancestry from the Guangdong (廣東) province of China, I share a hometown with the older generation celebrity Donny Yen (甄子丹) the martial artist main character in The Iron Monkey (鐵馬騮).  I had the good fortune to have spent part of my childhood in a rich agricultural flatland where I thought all dinner tables offered fresh eggs and beef and had groceries delivered fresh to your door.  My parents bought a restaurant there, serving home-cooked Eastern and Western meals using fresh meats and produce.

While my parents learned the ropes of being restaurateurs, I was at the age of learning my ABCs and tying my shoelaces.  Too young to help in the restaurant, I would play with my toy action figures (I have an older brother) in the dining room if there were no patrons.  My experience in the kitchen involved helping my mum snap the tips and peel the strings from snow peas and stacking the little coffee creamer cups.

The serenity of my life has been peppered with some real challenges following the loss of my mum.  Despite these challenges, I started helping at the restaurant shortly after turning 11.  I mainly took over the waitress duties of my mum, asking for the customer’s assistance to take the dishes from my hands since I was too short to reach across the table.  As a hobby, I began baking desserts and cookies, serving them to my elder lady patrons to critique my creations and offer suggestions or troubleshooting advice.

As I moved into my teenage years, I began actually cooking for my restaurant patrons beyond simply using the deep fryer.  I remember feeling overwhelmed standing on a short step in front of the commercial size wok for my first time deciding where to start.  I’ve always been a self-taught chef, a visual learner puzzling together menu items from what I had available to me.  Soon after, I was able to develop my skills as a chef enough to run the restaurant by myself.  Needless to say, my love for cooking did not yet start at this early age when cooking was either a necessity or to keep my parent’s restaurant afloat.

My take-home message is that my wide ranging experiences combine to help me relate to people with various backgrounds and have taught me to empathize more and judge less.

Being a home chef and loving it……

Once I finished my degree, I started learning new recipes and began to cook for myself and for friends.  I started hosting my own birthday parties and Christmas gatherings and provided wholesome meals for my friends.  It wasn’t until I realized my potential to create meals beyond the expectations of my parents’ restaurant menu that I really began to enjoy cooking.  Cooking became my way to relax, to be creative, and to unite people.

After getting married, I really began to get serious about challenging my culinary skills.  Cooking for my husband and his family is one of my greatest joys, and I quickly grew addicted to seeing my home guests truly enjoy my creations.  I started creating many excuses to have house parties where I could cook and display my food, hosting baby showers, Christmas dinners, summer gatherings, and birthday parties.  But most importantly, I love preparing extravagant anniversary dinners for me and my husband romantic dinners for two.

Not just a chef……

Besides my addiction for the kitchen serving up tasty creations to friends and family, I am also Dr. Grace with a concentration in neurological diseases, age-related dementias, and most recently brain imaging in coma states.  My passion focuses on helping patients in disordered states of consciousness, specifically from (but not limited to) traumatic brain injury.  I have delivered talks on this material under international networks such as the Federation of European Neurosciences, Motor Neuron Disease, Society for Neuroscience, and the International Society for Neuroethics.  My work travels have taken me to some of the most beautiful cities in the world such as Lisbon, Sydney, Berlin, Chicago, Edinburgh, and San Diego, just to name a few.

I am also a certified first aid attendant and cadet instructor, a volunteer medical first responder, amateur professional photographer, skilled in five languages, clarinetist, avid fitness and high intensity exercise enthusiast, and an adrenaline junkie.