When working in the kitchen, celebrity cook Sherson Lian is calm, methodical and organised – a total opposite of his mother, he says.
“You know how every mother has her own cooking style? Well, my mum’s style is to turn the kitchen upside down,” says Sherson with a big grin. His mother, Ann, who is within earshot, is quick to jump to her defence: “But I always clean up after myself!”
It is an absolute delight to watch the mother and son work in the kitchen, as they prepare three dishes for the guests at Sherson’s home in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya. They are hosting a luncheon for the media in preparation for their upcoming maiden television endeavour Family Kitchen With Sherson.
Sherson, the more talkative of the duo, teases his mother at every opportunity, and Ann good-naturedly indulges her oldest son as she helps out with the cooking.
“Sherson is always the commander ... ordering people to do all the tasks in the kitchen,” Ann deadpans.
This funny and entertaining interaction is what viewers get to see on the six-episode cook show. Filmed in Sherson’s home kitchen, the 30-minute series shows the Asian Food Channel’s celebrity cook and his mum sharing some of the family’s recipes and the stories behind them.
“This is the first programme that I’ve filmed with my mother and it was an incredible experience. She is the person who encouraged me to pursue a career in food, and her passion continues to inspire me every day,” says Sherson.
One dish that is full of memories is the Paradise Fried Rice which Ann used to serve at her now defunct cafe.
“There wasn’t a kitchen in the cafe, so I had to prepare the paste at home. Then when someone ordered the dish, I would just mix the paste with rice, put it in the microwave, heat it and serve it with a fried egg on top,” she reminisces. Sherson remembers helping his mother prepare the paste at home when he was still a kid. “We were expected to help out and there was a lot of onion and garlic to peel. It wasn’t fun,” says Sherson with a smile.