Hi, I'm Reese, originally from Penang, an island in Malaysia that was developed by the British East India Company three centuries ago as a trading port in - you guessed it – spices!
I love spices - the vibrant colors, aromas and flavors. Where would cooking be without spices?
Not in my kitchen.
The place where you'll find me busy with snacking or cooking. A condition my grandmother and mom instilled with their ability to cook anything, and doing so at any time of the day. They spoiled me and my sisters with sweet & sour asam laksa infused with tamarind and mint; satay marinated with turmeric, fennel seeds, and cumin; piping-hot hokkien prawn noodles with homemade ground chili paste; coconut milk rice livened up with fresh ginger, pandan leaves, and star anise; and the list of dishes goes on until there was no space left on the table for my plate.
So here I am, next in line, with a taste for flavors. Not just in food, but in life. In paving my own spice trail, from my experiences growing up in the melting pot of Penang, to my recent travels in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, discovering the undeniable connection between foods and cultures, and the role spices played in the rich history of the world. Connections I share with you on Season with Spice through my recipes and stories, and through the spices I blend into the familiar aromas and flavors from my little spice island home, and from all the wonderful places I’ve traveled.
Hi, I'm Mark, from Minnesota, finally home from many years working throughout Asia in places along the ancient Spice Route from Japan to Singapore to Malaysia, to the center of the spice trade in the city of Kochi along the Malabar Coast in Southwest India.
My work and travel came full circle in 2010, when I returned to Penang, the island where I began my journey a decade ago. Over the next three years, I worked as a consultant on various community projects in the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town. Projects that included the development of a Spice Trail, documenting the historical and cultural significance of the interdependency of local spice importers, wholesalers, traders, grinders, restaurant owners, and consumers.
I returned home to Minnesota with an appreciation of the value of spices, not just for their incredible flavor and innumerable health benefits, but also for the way they connect communities, within small places like George Town, and in communities linked across the world. On Season with Spice, I want to continue to explore those links, share those stories, and provide a taste of those amazing flavors.