Raw Chef Yin, From Law to Raw
Malaysia is a culinary paradise - one of its most prized gems is Raw Chef Yin. And she is famous because she actually does not really cook, so to speak. Raw Chef Yin is Malaysia's very own raw vegan chef!
Raw Chef Yin herself is a great marketing model for raw foodies and those passionate about vegan food. And it is not just because she creates amazingly delicious raw vegan dishes. It is because she is in her mid forties and she looks half her age. And her natural joy and smile attest to how raw vegan food has completely changed her life. Meet Raw Chef Yin in person and you will want to be like her, look like her, feel like her.
MY BLUE TEA CHEF PROFILE
Raw Chef Yin
From Law to Raw
At My Blue Tea, we have had the pleasure of speaking to many chefs who actually did not start off in the culinary industry but chose to pursue it mid-career. Making a big life change is never easy and Raw Chef Yin could have been working in law but chose instead to train at the world's leading raw and plant-based culinary academy so she could dedicate her time to sharing her joy for healthy, delicious raw vegan cuisine.
In Full Bloom
One cannot help but get enthusiastic about raw vegan food when you see what Raw Chef Yin has achieved during her culinary career. Only someone who genuinely believes in what she is doing would dedicate so much of her time, effort and energy into this cause.
She is a Certified Raw Food Teacher and has been invited to conduct sessions all over the world in London, Brighton, Boston, France, Australia, Bali, Taipei, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya & Penang.
In order to reach out to people, Raw Chef Yin also presented at TEDxUSMNibongTebal 2018 where she spoke on “The Transformative Power of Raw Vegan Food”. She is not shy to reach out to people and she is so driven in her quest she was selected to represent Malaysia at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Beyond Food Bootcamp where she got together with other like-minded professionals to share their knowledge in working towards solving the world’s food challenges. Her passion for raw vegan food runs so strong she is happy to share on different channels and has even appeared on national radio shows such as BFM: The Business Radio Station, Matic.FM, eFM and Aforadio. There is literally no excuse for people not to learn about the benefits of raw vegan food!
Festivals are another place where you cannot miss Raw Chef Yin. She has presented at various vegan festivals worldwide such as:
- Perth Vegan Expo
- Brighton Vegan Summer Festival
- Bali Vegan Festival
- Singapore Vegan Festival
- World Vegan Day
- Malaysia Vegan Festival
You would think this is where we end and start talking about something else. Far from it! Raw Chef Yin has a way of squeezing 48 hours out of the usual 24, for she has found time to even publish her own books! She has conquered the spoken word and of course she is not going to miss out on the written word either!
Raw Chef Yin has been featured in media publications such as The Edge (Options), The Sun, The Star, Female Magazine, Oriental News Daily, Jelita, The Malaysian Reserve, Focus Malaysia, The Malaysian Women’s Weekly, Malay Mail, Fireflyz, Senyum Magazine (in Japanese), Calibre, Clozette, Brain Food Magazin (in German). She also has a bestselling book in English and Chinese enticingly called Guilt-free Desserts. We definitely want to get a copy of that one.
If you are more digitally-inclined, check out her published eBooks such as:
1. Raw Vegan Delights: Asian Edition
2. Fun with Asian Raw Food
3. Fun with Ferments (Number 3 in the world in category E19 Fermentation for the 25th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2020)
4. Fun with Vegan Cheese
5. Fun with Asian Raw Food 2
How did someone go from having a law degree from the University of London to a raw food chef? Raw Chef Yin battled with skin problems since she was a child and her parents tried every solution that was available, from harsh steroid creams to gooey bitter Chinese herbal medicine that she forced herself to drink while pinching her nose. This neverending chase for the elusive cure that cost her parents a lot of money lasted 30 long years. It meant growing up constantly having to be careful about her skin and having to deal with restrictions in activities, frustrations, embarrassments and pain.
Raw Chef Yin finally found a remedy. And it is literally as simple as it sounds. Plant-based, whole foods that have not been heated up at high temperatures.
This meant a 360 degree change in her life. She never stopped learning about what is healthy eating and healthy living, and in the early 1990s she developed a growing awareness of how meat was not good for the human body. She started to reduce her intake of meat and instead selected only vegetables and some fish and seafood. She kept fish in her diet because it was the general misconception at that time that humans needed to get protein from fish.
2014 was a defining year for Raw Chef Yin. It was then when she had her first fully raw vegan meal. She came upon a blog called This Rawsome Vegan Life which showed a recipe for a fully raw meal - a raw lasagne with cashew cheese and broccoli sundried tomato pesto. She spent two hours poring over the preparation and it was well worth the time and effort. It was surprisingly delicious and most of all, it gave her a feeling of lightness and energy. This was enough to convince her that raw food was the way to go.
In 2016, she became a full vegan. At that time, being vegan was still a new concept so she started researching and found a small but strong vegan community in Malaysia. She started to take part in vegan activities and she clearly has not looked back since. It set her off on a quest to learn as much as she could about raw food. She sought out cookbooks, read blogs, watched videos and all that eventually led her to raw vegan celebrity chef Matthew Kenney and she was immediately hooked. She signed up for her first course Everyday Raw Express. This was a milestone for her as this was where she learnt to make everything ranging from beverages, appetizers, soups, main meals and even desserts that were all raw, clean, beautiful and delicious.
Interestingly enough, Raw Chef Yin was actually already on a vegan diet when she was a child because she grew up snacking on raw cucumbers, carrots and celery sticks. It was thanks to her parents who started this habit of eating healthy raw vegetables, making sure she always had a small portion of raw food in her meals. Unfortunately, children are not always the kindest creatures sometimes, and her way of snacking led to a lot of teasing and name-calling from her schoolmates. For the other children, Raw Chef Yin´s snacks were more like ¨rabbit food¨ or a ¨goat´s diet¨. Now Raw Chef Yin is the one who has the last laugh as she is not only enjoying an incredibly healthy body and life thanks to her raw vegan diet, she has also become incredibly successful in her career promoting the benefits of this way of eating.
Just Keep Growing
Raw Chef Yin then started an Instagram account to document her raw vegan journey. Friends were always curious and delighted to be invited over as very willing guinea pigs to try out her recipes and raw food experiments. Once, she even made a 4-course fully raw Christmas dinner for her family. There was Zucchini Tartare, Mushroom Nut Burgers, Durian Pie and Fig Water Kefir. Hard to imagine all that being raw and vegan? Raw Chef Yin has proven this can be done, and enjoyed! We would very much like to be invited as her guests for her next Christmas dinner.
Raw Chef Yin is one of those people who would go all the way for what she believes in. Raw vegan food for her was not just a casual Sunday hobby she picked up. She trained at the world's first classically structured raw and plant-based culinary school - the Matthew Kenny Culinary Academy at Evason Hua Hin, Thailand where she got a solid foundation in raw food preparation and it gave her the confidence to go even further in her career.
Three Matthew Kenny courses and a year and a half of making raw meals later, she finally felt ready to dive completely in. She started conducting simple raw food workshops and she had so much fun sharing her knowledge that it drove her to do even more for raw vegan food. Coming from Malaysia which is rich in fresh vegetables and fruits all year round, she was in the perfect environment to build awareness and appreciation for local produce. Since then, she has created beautiful unique raw vegan dishes such as Ciku Pudding with Dragon Fruit Coulis, a Malaysian Mango Salad Dressing and lacto-fermented Belimbing Buluh. This not only drove interest in raw food but also encouraged locals to recognise the value of their local products instead of relying on imported ones. This was her first step towards Crafting the Future of Food in Malaysia.
Nowadays, her workshops are all sold-out across Asia, including Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Bali and Singapore.
Raw Chef Yin is now the host of her very own (non)cooking show called Velicious with Raw Chef Yin, possibly the very first raw vegan (non)cooking show in Malaysia. Yet another feather to add in her chef's hat!
Raw Chef Yin is also a Certified Raw Food Teacher, having successfully completed a Raw Teacher Training Intensive taught by Karen Knowler in 2016 and 2017. Raw Chef Yin wanted to take her skills and knowledge to a world-class, professional standard. Since then, she has even worked with raw vegan French Chef Tina Barrat to introduce raw fine dining experiences to people in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
What allows Raw Chef Yin to keep growing in her passion for raw food is her dedication to developing recipes on dishes that she loves. She is excited about food and its tastes, textures, flavours and it is simply a matter of veganising these beautiful dishes and creating a healthier option. "Never stop learning" is probably Raw Chef Yin's motto as she never stops researching and learning - attending courses, reading, watching videos, attending summits and definitely a lot of contact with other eager vegan chefs to share their passion and experience.
Like Raw Chef Yin, My Blue Tea adores food and is always on the lookout for fellow foodies and chefs who are eager to try new natural, healthy ingredients. Check out the beautiful dishes Raw Chef Yin created with our superfood powders! Imagine using already healthy superfood powders to create raw vegan dishes - that is like boosting the power each dish! Why not try making a Cauliflower Blue Rice Nasi Kerabu and for a special treat, how about a Pandan Matcha Frappuccino?
Planting Seeds for the Future
Raw Chef Yin has come a long way since being an awkward child scratching away at her skin and feeling hurt by the tauntings of schoolmates at her super healthy raw-as-can-be carrot sticks.
She has seen a growing awareness and demand for raw vegan food in Malaysia, and events such as World Vegan Day is helping people learn more about this way of life. There have been more fully vegan places coming up which is helping to change the mindset that being a raw vegan is difficult and troublesome. There is even a Malaysian Vegan Society now with regular vegan meetups.
Clearly, a lot has changed since the time when Raw Chef Yin first started out on her raw food journey. She continues to believe in the value of education and sharing knowledge. She loves posting photos of appetising vegan food on her social media channels to show people that raw and vegan does not mean boring, dry or tasteless. She can even make Sambal Belacan that is raw vegan! That is quite a feat and very exciting! Definitely one dish that will get people to sit up and notice! People tend to reject anything that is unknown or inaccessible and what Raw Chef Yin is doing is bringing raw vegan food right to the very heart of the people - it is not about telling them to eat new dishes that are strange, and simply preaching about how healthy something is is not always the most effective way to reach out to people. It is about showing there is another way to live, there are choices and people can still enjoy what they love and are used to. Delicious food is always a beautiful way to quell doubts and fears, not to mention get people excited and connected!
Raw Chef Yin is dedicating her life to planting these beautiful seeds for a better and healthier future, not just for herself and those who are already fans of raw food, but for the benefit of many others who are still unaware or fearful of it, and for the planet as well. She hopes that one day, having vegan options would be as common place as having any style of cuisine and people would be well informed about raw vegan food and have options to freely enjoy raw vegan food anywhere in the world. She is taking heart in the fact that raw vegan food is already gaining a strong foothold in the USA and in the UK, so it would be just a matter of time before Malaysia embraces raw vegan food.
Ultimately, choosing a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle would mean a healthier nation of people and a more sustainable world for everyone. We are sure the little girl that Raw Chef Yin was would be very proud of where her adult self is now, and of how much she has accomplished.
If she could go back in time, she would treat her little girl self to a delicious meal of kiddie lasagne that is raw and yummy, and perhaps invite the other teasing children to join in and let their stomachs help them realise, instead of laughing at a little girl who enjoyed snacking on raw vegetables, they could share her snacks and change their lifestyle for a healthier, more joyous one.
If reading all this about Raw Chef Yin has inspired your raw side to start whipping up some raw vegan dishes, check out all these courses she has! You can get started right here right now on a delicious raw vegan journey to glowing health!
Would you join Raw Chef Yin in her delicious raw vegan food journey?