Fryer on, chillies chopped, laptop fully charged – ready to livestream to 1.9 million foodies.
This is a typical workday for Southeast Asian street food specialist and livestreaming extraordinaire, Jackie M.
Starting back in 2012, she began producing online cooking videos which soon developed into a weekly online cooking show on Twitch.
Through her passion for both creating and sharing authentic Malaysian food with live-streaming technology, Jackie has grown her following to (at its peak) 1.9 million fans.
With over 20 years of experience as a professional cook, Jackie is one of the foremost experts in Southeast Asian cooking and in particular Authentic Malaysian cooking, being one of the most influential Australian chefs on social media.
Creating what’s missing
However, her expertise didn’t originate online. Jackie’s inspiration to cook began with a certain nostalgia. In 1984, when Jackie first arrived in Australia at 17 years of age, Malaysian cuisine is what she missed most. The food that created her childhood memories; cultural celebrations, family dinners and watching her parents prepare food for the street markets in Seremban.
Constantly disappointed in the offerings of what counted as ‘Malaysian’ food outside of her home country, Jackie experimented with recipes and introduced Australians to Malaysian street food by running stalls at weekend markets in the early 90s.
“I consider myself as someone who can actually cook a very broad range of Malaysian food and Asian food in general. Really just by virtue of pure desperation and missing the food of my childhood.”
I consider myself as someone who can actually cook a very broad range of Malaysian food and Asian food in general. Really just by virtue of pure desperation and missing the food of my childhood.
Initially focused on a career in IT, Jackie graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Arts in Languages and worked as an IT consultant in merchant banks across Sydney and London.
However, in 2001 she made the life-changing decision to ditch her IT career and follow in the footsteps of her street-food vendor parents. She hasn’t looked back since.
From recreating the complex flavours that define the cuisine of her childhood, to expanding her repertoire through scrupulous research, being a regular feature at farmers’ markets around Sydney, to opening her eponymous restaurant in 2006 – Jackie M has done it all. Tenfold.
The next step
Yet, in 2013 Jackie decided to close her restaurant, knowing that she was expecting a beautiful baby boy who was going to need round-the-clock care.
Jackie is a proud sole parent to Noah who was born with Down Syndrome and a number of life-threatening conditions that saw him spend the first 7 months of his life in hospital.
She pivoted her brand from restaurant owner to content creator with a focus on live streaming, TV presenting, blogging and publishing.
Additionally, through her public profile, Jackie brings awareness around the joys and struggles of raising Noah and hopes to inspire parents with sick children to see that “life can be a blessing despite the challenges they face every day,” as Jackie says.
Jackie’s desire to bring global recognition to the vibrant food scene that makes Southeast Asia so unique and anchor her work in household kitchens across Australia is truly captivating. Equally, she holds great pride in her country of birth, Malaysia, her adopted country of Australia and her Hakka-Chinese descent.
From restaurant owner to INsider
We heard Jackie’s vision and hopped on board to equip her with the devices she needed to expand her network and share her love for Malaysian food and advocacy work.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the technology to back me up,” said Jackie.
I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the technology to back me up.
In collaboration with Lenovo, as a Lenovo INsider, Jackie uses the Lenovo Ideapad Y700 for her live video set up that is used to stream on Twitch.
Whilst Jackie is whipping up culinary masterpieces, she is able to use her set up as a way of checking in with her audience by responding to comments and posing questions live. Her set up, or PA in a way, is also used to source recipes, keep up to date with food trends and set timers.
In her years as a professional chef turned online content creator, Jackie has also developed a passion for helping bootstrap entrepreneurs.
With this in mind, Food Fame was started; Jackie’s online community. Here, she mentors entrepreneurs within the food industry on branding through videos. By coaching them on how to gain momentum and build a following, Jackie’s goal is to help these budding entrepreneurs produce their own online cooking shows.
For many of us, access to technology is instant. We have the opportunity to share our story, create and amplify our ideas across platforms and educate others on what our corner of the world looks like.
“I started out my entire journey out of a passion to be able to recreate the memories of my childhood in Malaysia through its food and now I get to share it with the rest of the world,” explains Jackie.
I started out my entire journey out of a passion to be able to recreate the memories of my childhood in Malaysia through its food and now I get to share it with the rest of the world.
We look forward to seeing the next dish Jackie M whips up!
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