Fellowship Fund in action: Annabel Jackson

Annabel Jackson, who received one of the first grants from the Guild’s Fellowship Fund, has this update for Guild members.

‘My unique research area had moved from Macanese cuisine – the indigenous cooking of Macau – to a broader exploration of Portuguese culinary influence in Asia. I have also begun to explore the ways in which broader Asian cuisines, with Portuguese influence, have interacted with each other. To this end, I was particularly keen to explore the cooking of the Kristang (Christian-Portuguese) community of Malacca. It was for this research trip that I was delighted to receive funding.

‘In Malacca, in addition to Malay cuisine, very important is the Nyona-Baba cooking, simplified as the cuisine of early Chinese immigrants who married locally. Later, when the Portuguese arrived (1511), they also intermarried and so Kristang cooking traditions were born. I was immediately struck how this cooking in so many ways mirrors Macanese cooking, just with the rempah added. I was particularly lucky to meet Chef Melba, who is perhaps the only Kristang chef working professionally; and to see how Kristang cooking within the tourism mix has brought visibility – and livelihoods – to this almost forgotten community. I am really keen to go back to explore further but also: I need to go to Goa!’