Anis Nabilah shares on how she got into cooking, her favourite dish and why she adores Massimo Bottura
Just like almost everyone, Anis Nabilah found her way into the kitchen through her mother. At age nine, she recalls attempting making an omelette and with that, she’s hooked! Food is truly the way to one’s heart. “I remember being grounded at home, and I had to win my parents’ hearts again. So I thought let’s just cook, and maybe they’ll cut down my timeout if they’re happy with the outcome. It doesn’t work all the time, but I did it anyway!”
She had other plans for her university life, but Mother really knows best. Seeing her passion for culinary, Anis received a gentle nudge from her mother.
If you’re a cuisine enthusiast, Anis is a familiar icon. Her first cooking show, Icip Icip proved to be a groundbreaking success, overthrowing the archetype of top chefs being aged men with a spicy edge.
Perpetually maintaining her grace, she captured the audience’s hearts without the need to be over-the-top fierce. “I was told I was too young, and now they’re producing cooking shows for those as young as nine years old!” The secret sauce of the show was her tagline: “If I can do it, you can too,” coupled with a bright smile. Although she received professional training, Anis truly wants cooking to be approachable for the viewers.
When Anis has time in her hands, she finds pleasure in creating intricate dishes for her loved ones. Her favourite? Smoked beef in spicy coconut curry (or colloquially, masak lemak daging salai) which takes six to seven hours. “I only make it once a year— that’s how special it is to me,” she revealed.
“He is very innovative,” Anis said when talking about Massimo Bottura, world-class Italian restauranteur. One particular event struck a chord with Anis. The 2012 Italy earthquakes caused disastrous damage to millions of pounds’ worth of Parmigiano-Reggiano. In order to save Modena’s economy, Chef Bottura partnered with local producers to raise awareness of the crisis.