day of week

Kylie Kwong : Cocktail Evening

11 April 2006

Kylie Kwong is in Perth this week, promoting her new book “Simple Chinese Cooking“. Tonight I went to her first event, an evening of cocktails, a talk, and signing at the Hilton.

Ok I haven’t seen all her shows, nor have I got all her books. So I probably can’t admit to be Kylie’s biggest fan. But I do love what she is doing. I love what she’s about. I love that she’s sharing her passion for Chinese food, supporting organic produce, healthy eating, holistic living, fair trade and a sustainable future for the planet. I think she rocks, and I had to hear her speak.

I went alone. 200+ people. I got the impression that it was a stand up event. But we were ushered into a function room for a sit-down tasting. Which was a great idea, because how were we supposed to juggle a handbag, jacket, wine glass, a hardcover book and a slice of duck meat??

It was free seating, and I wiggled my way to the front. Right next to the VIP table. Right next to the stage and podium. I was so close to the front that I even had an empty seat next to me. I met several lovely women at my table, and after a few glasses of wine, it soon turned into – as Kylie put it – the “troublemaker’s table”.

We made jokes about our table being the real VIP table. And somehow we [ie. Michelle] concocted a plan revolving around buying a glass of champagne for Kylie, getting one of the waiters to send it over to her, and asking her to join us for the next course, after all, we have an empty seat that we reserved just for her. She said yes! But alas, she was whisked away by the organisers, because she had other things to do [ie. give her speech]. Pffft.

She spoke. She was very bold, strong, funny, witty. A real character. She was basically an Aussie larrikin with an Asian face. And she made it work! She handled the question time with ease and precision, called everyone “love” (as you do), deflected lots of silly questions while still being positive, and had lots of jokes about Chinese food.

During the signing, I stayed back. Queued. She signed my book. And in that 5 second time slot where you’re supposed to thank the celeb, I blurt, “Hi Kylie. Listen I run a website about finding the beautiful moments in everyday life and I’d love to feature you…” She pointed to her publicist (as I expected) but she also said something along the lines of, “That sounds good. I’d love to do something for you.”

So there you go Kylie. Right here in black and white. From one ABC (Australian Born Chinese) to another , I want to know whether your mother ever made you drink Cantonese lamb brain soup with goat testicles (and other goodies).