Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
1. What inspired you to write Bento Fun?
- Ever since I started packing bento and getting better at it I hoped I will have a chance to publish my own book to share my ideas and journey.
2. Where do your ideas come from?
- I always love to look at beautiful and cute things and when I see something I really like I will have this little thoughts running in my head on how to turn them into a kyraben (character bento). I also browse some really creative Japanese mommies’ Instagram to get new inspiration every now and then.
3. Who do you think will benefit from your book?
- I strongly believe this book is a great start for parents whom want to pack healthy lunch boxes for their school going kids or those who have little fussy eaters to entice them to try new food.
4. What should readers expect from your book?
- I have designed the book in a way to help beginners to start their bento journey. There is a general introduction of what is bento, the tools of the trade as well as simple recipes and some step-by-step guides to start off. There are 3 categories in the book which readers get to learn the basics before moving on to more complicated kyaraben work.
5. When did your passion for preparing Bento boxes begin?
- It was in mid 2007 when I first saw some mommy friends started making cute bento for their kids and thought that was a cool idea. Though my son was only 2 years old and he do not have any problem with his meals I decided to pretty up his meals. He loves it! I was so obsessed with all the cute bento gears that I can’t help myself from collecting those that strike my fancy.
6. How do you find time to write?
- I was thrilled when my editor, Mr Oon Yeoh from MPH left me a message on my messenger and asked if I am keen to write MPH’s first bento book. As discussion went on, I was a little hesitant as there were so much work involved since I am not residing in Malaysia. That means I will have to do everything from planning to food styling and photography. It was certainly not an easy feat as I have to juggle house work, minding the kids as well as cooking for the family. Here in Australia, we do not have the luxury of live in helpers to help with house work hence, I have to be really discipline to complete the book. I have almost given up many times as there was just too much on my plate but my editor cheered me on and I was glad I made it to the end.
7. Are you working on another book? Can you share a little of your current work with us?
- There are certainly plans for next book but nothing is firm yet at the moment. We are looking at adult bento and some other recipe books.
8. There are many interesting recipes in the book. Which is your favourite or the one you prepared most often?
- All the recipes in the book are our favourites and I make them all the time. My kids enjoyed all of them so to keep myself less headache and the kids happy, I rotate the recipes frequently. They are easy to prepare and yummy to eat.
9. What advice can you give for someone preparing or thinking of preparing Bento for the first time?
- Do not be overly ambitious. Start with something that is achievable and after doing it a few times, you will get better and better and attempt the more complicated designs.
10. How can readers discover more about you or your work?
- Currently I do not have much updates on my blog (www.bentofun.wordpress.com) but hopefully I will when I have more time once my kids are back in school.
- Readers can join https://www.facebook.com/bentofunbookclub for updates on my book and other activities planned for the future.
Thank you very much for taking time from your busy schedule to answer our questions.
Bento Fun is now on offer for the members of our parents platform. Read our review of the book here:
Bento Fun By Alice Foo
Bento Fun Book Order Form (Currently taking orders from 13 February 2017 to 19 February 2017)