It all began a little over three weeks ago when a friend of mine sent me this link on Facebook and asked “u gonna be there??” It was for an event called the Malaysian Winter Market at Bryant Park on Feb 20th and 21st. I took a quick look at the dates and decided it was much too close to the event to even consider it. If you’ve ever had any dealings with Malaysian officialdom at any level, you know that nothing happens in three weeks. Absolutely nothing.
I promptly forgot all about it until my husband spotted it on my FB feed. “So you’re doing this Winter Market thing, right?” My dearest Wife Pusher was on to it and there was nothing I could do about it but lie. “Oh yeah, I emailed them already”, while still knowing in my heart that I was going to do no such thing. The next day he asked me again “So what do you need to do for this Winter Market thing?” What’s a lying girl to do, but keep on lying – “I’m not sure, I’ve sent an email. Let’s see if I hear back”. By now I felt bad enough about lying to the man I love, the one I’ve chosen to spend my life with, the father of our offspring that I decide it can’t hurt to send a little email. Right?
I do some creative Googling and come up with the email address for the Malaysian Trade Commissioner himself. I send a little email. I get a response “Dear Auria, Thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately due to the constraints in the exhibition space, all booths have been taken. Warm regards…” Ah, as I expected. Back to business as usual – now what was I doing before this little bump in the road?
Two hours later I get an email from the company that is organizing the entire event. I froze in my seat. “Hi Auria, Thanks so much for being in touch with MATRADE regarding interest in participating in the Malaysian Winter Market event. We have a last-minute opening for the market and would love for you to be a featured vendor.”
Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen would like to thank Mr Muhd Shahrulmiza Zakaria, Trade Commissioner/Consul (Trade), MATRADE & RF|Binder for organizing such a great event and doing an amazing job of spreading the word and getting the public to attend. The response was overwhelmingly positive and it was a wonderful experience from that very first email to the absolute end. A very warm thank you also, to the 2000 or so people who came to the event and chose to stand in line, in some cases for up to an hour just to experience my cooking. Your commitment to these sliders and nutty fish is beyond anything I ever expected and I am forever grateful.
I would also like to thank Amy Goff, the best sous chef a girl could ever have and an up-and-coming Chef-to-watch in her own right. A big thank you to Patrick Meyer – the brains of the entire operation and the man in charge of all the schlepping and crowd communication (ie. announcing to the crowd that we were out of crab etc.) You had such a nice way of handling the crowd, I would have been lost without you. Thank you also to Elaine Goff – the hottest bun-slinger known to man. I love you to the ends of the earth, Blondie. The three of you together gave me so much confidence – I knew that no matter what happened either of those days, I was in good company and we would work it out together. I love you guys.
A big shout out and a BIG thank you to Judith Singer-Stevens of Third-Hand Brooklyn Services who schlepped me all around town on my shopping expeditions and drove us into and out of Manhattan on both days. You are a G*dsend in every way.
A very tender and heartfelt thank you to my husband and daughter – the lights of my life. I do it all for you. You are the inspiration and the motivation. Every Single. Day.
And of course, the biggest thank you to my Mum, the source of it all, without whom none of this would be possible.
Ok, SO WHAT’S NEXT? :o)