Society Picks: Danielle Peita Graham, International Model
With her part Irish and part Malaysian heritage, Danielle Peita Graham is blessed with enviable good looks and a svelte figure. When you pair that up with her charisma and personality, it's easy to see why she's model material. Danielle has graced the pages of the biggest fashion magazines in the world and even worked with Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, but when she's not working, she turns into an excellent cook with great taste in all things culinary, from home cooking for her family, dining out in Michelin-star wanton noodles to eating Japanese pufferfish.
We sat down with the gorgeous lady for a peek inside her gourmand life.
We know enjoy cooking a lot; what is the best dish that you can cook?
I am always experimenting in the kitchen and I like to cook a mixture of Asian and western dishes. My specialities are Roasted Chicken Rice, Spaghetti Bolognese, Caesar Salad, Salt and Chilli squid, Soy and Ginger steamed fish and Steak with Black Pepper Mushroom sauce. My super spicy sambal is quite popular (my mother’s recipe) and I like to make it in batches and give them to my friends.
With your part Irish heritage, do you have a liking for the Irish cuisine?
I love my dad’s Irish stew! It’s a traditional Irish dish that I grew up eating. My dad puts his own spin on it and mixes in as many vegetables as he can, like parsnip, celery, carrots and Brussels sprouts! The tradition lives on in my household. My children love the beef stew which I use potatoes, onion, carrots and celery with an Asian twist to it – I serve it with steamed rice.
Food that reminds you of your childhood:
My grandmother's Hainanese chicken rice was to die for! The flavours were amazing. The rice was so fragrant and delicious. She would always take so much pride and joy in cooking it. I am still trying to master it! I find that cooking is an important way of passing down family traditions and my children love to help out me in the kitchen.
Favourite restaurant/café in Malaysia:
- Enjoy an intimate date night
My husband and I enjoy going to Cilantro for dinner together. We will sit in one of their cosy booths and feast on exquisite food and wine! Chef Takashi creates the most beautiful looking dishes that taste delicious.
- For work related functions or dinner
I love the design of WAY restaurant; it is so elegant and stylish. It’s a great place to go with a bunch of friends and share a meal. They have an interesting modern dimsum menu. Sometimes I have cravings for their snow bun. Its divine! The Peking Duck is also fabulous!
- For amazing desserts and other sweet indulgences
The cakes at Le Deux Garcons Patisserie are like little pieces of art! They are so meticulously presented. I really do like this place! I have a thing for chocolate and what I die for every time is their chocolate Marché cake – nothing can come close. It is so delicious!
Your favourite city for food and three restaurants/cafes that you can recommend from that city?
I love Hong Kong. It was my home away from home for many years when I was living there for work. I have been going for my favourite wanton noodles to Ho Hung Kee in Causeway Bay and they even received a Michelin star!
Yardbird is another favourite. It has really good Japanese food, great service and a buzzy casual atmosphere, but be prepared to queue as they don’t take reservations. All part of the experience I guess?
Duddells is opened by a friend of mine ,which is a chic and trendy place that serves delicious Cantonese food. It is an interesting venue because it is a mix between an art gallery and restaurant. For dinner there, I love the freshly fried lobster with spring onions and crispy salted chicken. After dinner I love hanging out with friends on the outdoor terrace having a few of their innovative cocktails.
At this exact moment, what food are you craving for and where you would get it?
Right now I would love to be in Tuscany at Villa Mangiacane sitting in their outside herb and rose garden terrace eating a delicious plate of freshly made tagliatelle with scampi and mushrooms. It would be perfectly washed down with their Chianti classic wine.
As a foodie, how do you manage your amazing figure while still indulging in great food?
For someone who loves to eat, going on a diet is my worst nightmare, but if I have an upcoming shoot or important event to attend, I need to prepare and look my best. I will force myself to go on a carbo free diet for a few days and workout like crazy. After that, I will feel less bloated, have more energy and my skin will be glowing.
(Photos: Malaysia Tatler, Instagram @daniellepeitagraham)