Cooking Superstar

What About Second Breakfast?

Get creative in the kitchen with Shirley from What About Second Breakfast?

Shirley Goh
Greater Boston
Newspaper editor & dining reviewer

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

I got into cooking when I was first on my own, in my early 20s. I had some basics down, but slowly learned more advanced recipes and techniques over the years. One of the first recipes I tried on my own was scones, and I didn't understand why you had to cut in cold butter instead of melting the butter, or what orange zest was. These days I think my scones are pretty darn good.

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

My kitchen is heavily used. Some people have gleaming, spotless kitchens that obviously are untouched. Or their ovens are used as storage because they're never turned on. I try to keep my kitchen clean, but constant scrubbing is required because it's used several times a day. I try to clean up as I go.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

Try new things and don't get discouraged! Every mistake is a learning experience.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

I would be too intimidated to cook for any celebrity chefs, but I would have to say Dorie Greenspan. She seems to have this fun, light personality that would be great for a dinner party. I don't know if I could enjoy myself around those harsh reality-TV chef judges, much as I might admire them. I might cook her a Malaysian or Singaporean dish, something she might not have had much of before.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I wish I did, but I have no other crafting talent. I enjoy reading, photography, and scenic walks.

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I also have a twin sister. People tend to find that fascinating and ask why I hadn't told them before.

Shirley Goh
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Pies & Tarts, Breads

What's your favorite...

TV Show
Breaking Bad. Close behind are Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and Mad Men.
Don't have one, but my radio station is set to the oldies.
Boston. Is that awful for a native New Yorker to say?
There are so many! Sense & Sensibility, Bridge Jones' Diary, and Lord of the Rings are a few. Confession: Conan the Barbarian. The '80s one.
Cook Book
Tough one! I'd say Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours" and "Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts"
Chinese and Italian
Chocolate, olive oil, and fresh herbs
Kitchen Gadget
My ovenproof thermometer. I don't even have to pull the roast out of the oven to see if it's done!