With my 12 year-old son Jake in tow, I introduced myself to Cheryl as a Facebook fan. She immediately knew who I was and spent some time chatting with me about Hong Kong and qipaos (she wrote a wonderful article in the NYTimes about where to make a cheongsam, or qipao in Hong Kong). And of course I had to wear a qipao to her event!
It was also fun to meet Cheryl’s husband Mike, who she describes to a tee in her book. He’s very kind and supportive, and was so patient taking beaucoup des photos of her with her fans.
For dinner, the chef of the Town House cafe recreated several dishes in Cheryl’s book:
* Her mom’s green mung bean soup;
* Her friend Simson’s popiah, or Singaporean summer roll;
* Her mother-in-law’s braised kalbi, or short ribs;
* Her grandma Tanglin Ah-Ma’s bak-zhang, or pork and sticky rice dumpling;
* Her grandma Tanglin Ah-Ma’s pineapple tarts; and
* A delicious mandarin orange and lychee mousse.
After the delicious dinner, Cheryl read from the chapter in her book where she makes her Tanglin Ah-Ma’s pineapple tarts. Then she answered questions and chatted more with guests.
It was a delightful evening and certainly took my book reading experience up several notches. Jake had a great time, too, and enjoyed learning about Singapore and its oh-so-tasty food.
If you’re in the Chicago area, you can meet Cheryl this weekend. On Saturday, she’ll be speaking on a memoir panel at the Hotel Blake, 500 North Dearborn, at 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, she’ll be reading at Women and Children First, 5233 North Clark, at 4:30 p.m.