Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life - Sara Fitz­patrick

COOK­ING is not a daily ob­ses­sion or life­long call­ing for Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group re­porter Ary­lene West­lakeJen­nings.

It is sim­ply a means for show­ing the peo­ple she loves how deeply she cares.

Whether sat­is­fy­ing the stom­ach of her hus­band or ap­peal­ing to the ap­petites of close friends, West­lake-Jen­nings rev­els in dish­ing out de­light.

“I have been very blessed in terms of grow­ing up around food in a coun­try where our pas­sion for eat­ing comes sec­ond to none,” she said.

“I was brought up in Sin­ga­pore by a Per­anakan mother and Sri Lankan-Por­tuguese fa­ther, both of whom are in­cred­i­ble cooks in their own right.

“And just as it is for me, they cooked for the pure en­joy­ment of it.”

Her culi­nary jour­ney be­gan at age eight, per­fect­ing the art of pre­par­ing rice.

By 10, she had mas­tered fam­ily favourites such as oys­ter sauce chicken stir-fry.

Now the real es­tate writer is one of eight home cooks se­lected as semi fi­nal­ists in WA’s Sig­na­ture Dish cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

She en­tered the con­test on a whim to see whether her recipe would pique the in­ter­est of judges.

Rep­re­sent­ing the Kim­ber­ley re­gion, West­lake-Jen­nings will pre­pare and cook Cone Bay barramundi with green mango and mizuna salad at the semi fi­nal cook-off on Oc­to­ber 14 at Fraser’s, Kings Park.

“This is the first cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion I have en­tered and I am think­ing it will be my last be­cause the mere thought of cook­ing in front of strangers im­me­di­ately tight­ens the belly with pure fear,” she said.

“I am go­ing to test my dish again be­fore the big day and if it doesn’t boost my con­fi­dence then noth­ing will.”

The com­pe­ti­tion grand fi­nale will be held on Novem­ber 22 at the Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape event.

The win­ner will re­ceive a two-day men­tor­ship with Guil­laume Brahimi at Bistro Guil­laume, Crown Perth, and a trip for two to a lux­u­ri­ous WA lo­cale for a wine-and-dine ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ary­lene West­lake-Jen­nings.

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