My National Day weekend was spent differently this year as I spent my morning with Asian Food Channel Celebrity Chef Bal Arneson, her two lovely children – Aaron and Anoop, and the contest winners of the Hubalicious event presented by StarHub and Asian Food Channel. We learnt how to cook Chef Bal Arneson’s traditional homecooked dishes, which combines the best of East and West. I love cooking and food too, I was very honoured to be able to be part of this event and the whole event was recorded live.
So, what’s Hubalicious? Hubalicious is a StarHub’s popular gourmet event that debuts in 2010. Its aim is to celebrate all things related to food and bring you closer to the celebrity chefs you watch on TV. From closed-door food events where celebrity chefs cook for guests to public events where everybody can interact with the chefs and pick up cooking tips in the ‘live’ demonstrations, Hubalicious unites viewers everywhere who share the same love for food.
Since its debut in 2010, StarHub has been working on bringing celebrity chefs and fans together, interacting with each other to increase one another’s knowledge about what they love in common. Other than the event on National Day weekend, StarHub’s Hubalicious also brought together four celebrity chefs from StarHub TV’s food and lifestyle channels last November (2013):
· Eric Lanlard of BBC Lifestyle (StarHub TV Ch 432),
· Henry & Tom Herbert, The Fabulous Baker Brothers of TLC (StarHub TV Ch 427) and,
· Willin Low of the Asian Food Channel (StarHub TV Ch 435)
Members of the public too get to see their favourite chefs and watch them cook and demonstrate their star creations on the spot at PasarBella, dream come true for peeps like me!
I love, LOVE watching food documentaries and variety shows, I can stay tuned to Asian Food Channel or other food channels all day just watching the chefs cook and bake. Sometimes I cannot decide if baking or cooking is my love – now I’m guessing its both? But anyway, back to the main topic! The journey Chef Bal Arneson (Bal) took to where she is standing today is no simple or easy fairytale - in my opinion her story touches my heart as to how much she went through to pursue her passion in cooking and bringing Indian food she has been cooking since 6 years old, to the world.
Born in Punjab, Bal Arneson moved to Canada in her 20s, where she picked up English, got her Masters in Education, and developed her passion for blending the best of East and West in her Indian inspired cooking.
Bal Arneson’s is the host of Spice of Life with Bal Arneson and Spice Goddess on the Asian Food Channel, StarHub TV Ch 435. In 2011, Spice Goddess was nominated for a James Beard Award and in 2012 for the lifestyle category by NAMIC Vision Awards. She is the author of two best selling cookbooks: Everyday Indian and Quick & Healthy Indian, which won the Asian Cuisine category prize for Canada by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2012. She launched her third cookbook, Bal’s Spice Kitchen, in 2014.
We had the honour to cook with Chef Bal under her precious guidance. Butter Chicken is one of Bal’s most popular dishes as it blends the use of herbs like cumin seeds, Garam masala and turmeric, with ginger, garlic, tomato sauce, greek yogurt and water – giving the chicken and the whole dish a really spicy but alluring texture and taste, one of the best I have tried!
I love them and how Chef Bal patiently introduced every spice and ingredients used along with their history She taught us how the ingredients, when used in different combinations give a different flavor every time you cook a dish. Little Aaron, at just the age of 10 was already guiding us on how we should watch over the heat and spices as while cooking. Meanwhile, Anoop was helping those who needed help with the cooking, awesome team I would say :)
Another dessert that I really love is this Spiced Yogurt. Don’t get tricked by its name, it contains absolutely no burning sensation after a bite and it makes you crave for more – I’m serious! It takes on the safest rule of sweetening greek yogurt by adding honey as a natural sweeter and then topping it up with mixed berries which totally brings life and aesthetics to the dessert. What is really special here is this: the savoury spice; Saffron.
If you too share the same passion for cooking, I cannot find any reason why you would not be gluing your eyes to the TV like how I do.. just kidding! But anyhow, if you do not want to miss any amazing creations by Chef Bal Arenson, be sure to stay tuned to Bal’s Arneson shows on:
StarHub TV Asian Food Channel Ch 435
Spice of Life with Bal Arneson
Every Sunday from 3 Aug to 31 Aug, 10.00am and 6.00pm (2 episodes back to back)
Every Sunday from 3 Aug to 31 Aug, 11.00am and 7.00pm (2 episodes back to back)
For more information on upcoming Hubalicious events , visit www.starhub.com/hubalicious for more details. To subscribe to the world-class food channels on StarHub TV, simply visit www.starhub.com/tv. Cheers and have a great week ahead! :)