Elsa grew up in a large family in rural Philippines and began cooking at a young age. She would watch her elder sister and father prepare food over a fire and learned from them how to make family staples like rice with stir-fried vegetables. She also learned how to make more celebratory foods like Biko (a sticky rice cake – see page 155 of the Home Cooking East & West cookbook).
Before making the move to Hong Kong to be closer to her identical twin sister and to work for us, Elsa lived in Singapore for 16 years helping three different Chinese families. Her work during that time gave her insights into different families’ favourite foods as well as experience with various ways families have of preparing the same foods. Some of these recipes joined her personal list of favourite foods and she is happy to be sharing them in our book (we love them, too!).
In the photo, Elsa is making Chicken & Tofu Congee (page 8 of Home Cooking East & West).