(Book cover: Tatyana Kildisheva; All portrait images, including makeup and styling: Emöke Sasi)
Making an international move can be a lonely experience,” shares Michelle Pilarczyk, who relocated to Singapore from Dubai with her husband and two children in 2012.
After about three years of living here, Michelle was craving friends who shared her passion for cooking together. So, in August 2015, she asked on a social media group if any other women might want to meet up to cook. “I got more than 200 responses within a few days,” she recalls.
From her previous years of business consulting, Michelle says she quickly figured out how to scale up the idea – by organising 20 groups of 10 women each, and choosing a leader for each group. “The groups kicked off immediately, and with the help of the leaders, we formed the basis of the organisation within a few months.”
Since then, the non-profit International Cooking Club Singapore Ltd has grown to about 300 active participants, who regularly meet to enjoy one another’s company and culinary creations. “If it wasn’t for ICCS,” says Michelle, “I would never have met so many incredible women from all over the world.” The organisation recently published The Red Dot Melting Pot Cookbook ($49.90, excluding shipping), which features more than 200 beautifully photographed recipes spanning an impressive 75 countries. All of the dishes were contributed by ICCS participants.
Michelle admits the process of creating the cookbook was a challenge, especially coordinating amongst so many volunteers. “Days were extremely long,” Michelle says. “Our record day was 15 dishes photographed with nine cooks in the kitchen. It was crazy, but fun!”
Visit the International Cooking Club Singapore website to join, or click here to order a copy of its cookbook. Flip through the gallery below to read more about Michelle and seven ICCS participants, and sample their recipes here.
By Sara Lyle Bow, From The Finder (Issue 291), March 2018
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