“If you look like Vindy Lee, you’d be an instant celebrity.” This is the impression FHM Malaysia Magazine bestowed her. Indonesia born model, dancer and a terrific chef has proved her excellence in the career she chose and even in social works for which she has been awarded Presidents’ Award from George W Bush. FHM Romania has listed her among the worlds’ 99 sexiest women in its 2009, April issue. Featured in numerous cover pages of renowned magazines around the world, this sizzling lady shares her hottest secrets with you in ‘Cherry on Top’.
Easy-going, entertaining and always curious, like to have fun and I love cooking. Someone mentioned that I like to inspire myself and people around me – I think that’s true.
Seasoning Vindy means…
TLC baby. That’s the thing we need, right girls?
Vindy as a fish eater…
Love it. Raw or cooked, whatever the way. I like the halibut: poached in oil with lemon and capers gives a seductively velvety texture.
Spice that tickles you…
Hot chili powder. I like anything spicy – soups, curries and even drinks.
Indonesians love spicy food and I often try to incorporate heat to my diet.
Getting served breakfast in bed…
Yes please. I’m a BIG breakfast eater. In fact if I were to choose any food to eat all day, I’d choose breakfast. Pancakes, potato hash, pastry, sausages, fruit salad, orange juice, coffee etc. Breakfast served in bed while watching cartoons will be the best.
Chocolate: exquisite or sexquisite?
I’ll be polite and say exquisite but you know I really mean sexquisite. Most girls love chocolate. To me chocolate is not really a food, it’s more like a drug. Dark chocolate turns me on – say 70% cocoa.
Orgasmic food you have ever encountered.
Oh my, so many! I’ve to be shameless and say it’s one of the dishes I made at home – a crazy story too. This was about 8 years ago when I was still in school. I wanted to make Lemon Chicken inspired by Rao’s Italian Restaurant in New York. The last step was to broil the chicken for a couple of minutes, but I got distracted by a telephone conversation, forgot about the chicken and even took a shower. When I got out, my whole kitchen was smoking and I immediately took out the dish, which was ON FIRE. I quickly covered the dish with a lid and the fire went off. I was lucky that nothing else was ruined.
Luckily the chicken looked fine, just looked like it was barbequed, but had the most amazing aroma. Out of curiosity, I tried it. Let me tell you, it was THE BEST accidental chicken I’ve ever had. The fire gave it an intensely unique smoky flavor through and through, and I think the lemon peel sparked out essential oils too. I love barbequed food but this tasted 100 times better. Hmm… I’m thinking to re-create that flavor. But first, how to set chicken on fire?
Love fruit that makes you devilish.
Peaches. On the account that I love spraying whipped cream on the body.
Food you would like to be
Honey. It’s a friendly food. Honey is sweet and natural… plus it lasts for a long time!
Vindy’s secret when it comes to the culinary…
My secret is Love. Believe it or not you need to love your food, respect and understand it – that makes delicious food. The recipes I have in my cookbook are very simple; I see it as a vehicle to encourage creativity for the cooks, to make it their own.
Favorite occasion you would love to be in kitchen…
All the time! If I have a new home, I would minus the dining area and just make one big kitchen where there are islands and people can eat in it as I cook and entertain. I want to spend as much time in the kitchen as I can.
Are you afraid you may ruin your skin while you cook?
No. It does happen though, especially when I first started, many cuts, burns, scalds etc. but these sacrifices are worthy. I throw “Vanity” out the window whilst in the kitchen. In fact, if it weren’t for modeling, I won’t care about make-up. I believe the star of the show is always the food, not the chef. And I love what I do.
Any chef you would like to date?
I’ve never dated chefs or anyone in the food industry. It’s funny because all we will do is talk about food. I can imagine me and the chef quarrel often because we both would fight for the kitchen, haha.
You would like to cook for…
My boyfriend. Step one: find a boyfriend haha.
To win your heart, guys should…
Food that turns you off…
Birds. I used to have birds as pets and they are the cutest little things. Seeing birds on the menu is number one turn-off. There is a line you draw between what is a pet and what is food.
Red/White Wine that gives you velvety touch…
I love ice wine. It’s very precious, wonderfully intense and perfectly sweet… just how I like my men.
Food for which you would sacrifice your health….
You know, I dance a lot and that keeps my body in shape. I eat natural foods as much as I can to stay healthy. However sometimes I love a good crispy battered fried chicken or those beautiful French pastries… basically all other fattening foods in the world will make this list.
Best literary creation about food…
‘Ratatouille’, the movie. The main character of this cartoon – Remy, reminds me of myself. He’s obsessed about food and goes all out to be a chef even though many odds were against him. The movie not only teaches you how to appreciate food, it also encourages people to go for your dreams.
Sexiest chef you know…
It’s a tie between Jamie Oliver and Anthony Bourdain. Jamie because we share the same philosophy: hoping to motivate people to cook more because we feel that home-cooked meals are the lost art in this increasingly busy society.
Anthony because he speaks his mind, and also reminds me a little bit of me in that. We love to travel and explore far away places JUST because of food.
You are obsessed to.
Striking a balance. Besides my ridiculous food fetish, I try to live a balanced life – you know the Yin Yang philosophy.
Vindy is not a…
Bad girl. I’m a real good girl. Mostly
Getting proposed with rings inside Champagne Glass is….
Romantic…. But sometimes I don’t finish my glass – what happens then?
Something people do not know about you.
Many people don’t know that I sacrificed a lot just to achieve my dream of being a chef. All along high school and college, I have skipped the popular mall hangouts for grocery stores and farmers’ markets- which are more interesting for me. Back then, cooking at home was not a “trendy” thing to do, unlike now when the culinary world is somewhat glamorized. So, I somehow grew reclusive in school – I didn’t think my peers understood me.
On top of that it took me months to find my first cooking job right after graduation. I had turned down many decent office job offers in order to work in the kitchen. That’s when I picked up hip-hop dancing as a hobby. I would often hide in the studio for hours on end, expressing whatever anger I had through dancing… Finally things got better when I first become a cook in a French Café in Beverly Hills, California, which eventually led me to become a personal chef.
I still have limited social life for the sake of my three commitments of cooking, dancing and modeling. It’s a high price to pay.
Suggestions for anyone who wants to follow your footprints?
Have FUN! Be true to your passion. It took me a long time to find my path but you must continue to believe. Be brave!
Ever tried Nepalese cuisine?
I can’t say I know a lot about Nepalese cuisine because the food cultures I am exposed to are predominantly American, Italian and Chinese. But I am definitely curious about the diversity of Nepalese food, especially when a lot of herbs and spices are used – along with the presentation of Dal, Tarkari and Chutneys. I love rice and spicy food so I believe Nepalese cuisine will be a joy to eat!
When you will be in Nepal, you would like to…
Discover how classic Nepalese foods and are traditionally made- hopefully from a really old or experienced cook; and visit popular and trendy eateries that have been there for a long time. Last but not least, hopefully meet some readers who would like to meet me!