Friday, January 1, 2010

Serina – The Darling Daughter of Chef Wan

Image:1 Mdm Christine O’Luanaigh, the mum-in-law
who was about to place the ring on Serina's finger.

Image:2 Serina, the ever so beautiful,
elegant and charming bride

Image:3 Serina and her beau,
now husband and wife


Postcript: The 3 photos below were inserted on Sept 17th, 2010 to announce the birth of Serina's baby. It’s a boy! Actress Serina gave birth to a baby boy on Monday, Sept 13th 2010 at the Prince Court Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Baby is named Tristan Tareef O'Luanaigh ( ‘Tareef’ means ‘out of the ordinary’ ) Baby at 51cm and weighing 2.85kg arrived at 1813hrs ( 6.13pm )
Datuk Chef Wan confirmed both mum and baby were fine, and in the best of health!

Image:4 . The Cute Little One,
Tristan Tareef O'Luanaigh

Image:5 . The Proud Gramps,
a Beaming Datuk Chef Wan

Image:6 . The Family Sharing
The Happy Moment


It’s been in the news in recent days. Serina the talented and ever beautiful actress is tying the knot. This is further confirmed in a local daily this morning. There was a write-up with an accompanying snap-shot outlining the various related ceremonies tonight and tomorrow morning right up to the bersanding slated for the evening of Jan 02, 2010.

The picture ( please see above) captured a beaming Serina, resplendent in a daring pure white bridal fashioned dress, with an equally proud father, Chef Wan, next to her and a happy Mdm Christine O’Luanaigh, the mum-in-law, who was about to place the ring on her finger.

I only know about Serina from what I see in the press and from what I hear from the news from time to time. What I want to relate about is more of her father, the internationally acclaimed celebrity chef, Chef Wan. It is a leaf from the pages of history, a moment in time, not too long ago.

I first met Redzuawan Ismail a.k.a. Chef Wan sometime in the late ‘70s. He was then a teenager just out of school. I happened to visit Lokman his uncle in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Lokman was my house-mate during our student days at the University of Malaya. Later, Lokman was sent overseas and came back with an M.Sc. in Economics and was attached to the Forestry Dept.

It was normal then that those who were successful were held in high esteem and in awe by close relatives as role models. It was no exception for Lokman. He in turn was always there to give a helping hand even financially, I was told later. He would have his relatives and nephews at odd times in his house.

That night, Lokman and his wife persuaded us to stay on for dinner. It was quite normal and acceptable in our society, to be persuaded to stay on and we were equally expected to accept graciously. Nowadays, however,with a more hectic pace of modern living, it is more practical and to be fair to the host that one gets to take dinner only after having made and agreed through with prior arrangements. We, my loving wife Shadah and our little darling daughter Azlin Adura, stayed on for dinner.

After dinner, while having coffee in the lounge, I had commented to Lokman that it was such a wonderful dinner.It was the best home-cooked dinner I've had in a long, long time. I complimented Lokman’s wife for having whipped up that one very good dinner in a jiffy, only to be told it was not her.

Only then did Lokman tell us, and he called out for Wan from the kitchen. ‘Wan’ in the Negri lingo is how one would address a grandma or an old lady. I had expected an old lady when a fresh-faced and innocent-looking young man walked in, the ‘great and lovable Chef Wan’ then, just a teenager came over to us.

He straight away went into a chatty discourse of what he did in the kitchen, of the various dishes that we had and how he helped out with his mum at home in Pahang - just as his chatty self on TV in later years. Even at that tender age he was already at it, his great cooking and his happy self.

Would you have imagined it? We, my wife and I and my darling daughter had savoured Chef Wan's culinary expertise even before the whole world had an even chance of knowing about it. Let alone tasting it. Isn't that something!

We later got into talking about job opportunities in the bank where I was. I was then heading the Human Resource Dept and the bank was expanding and we needed personnel at all levels.

I talked to Wan, Lokman also talked to Wan. Wan agreed to give it a shot. Later, Wan went through the various formalities and joined our bank as one of our staff members. Whenever I occasionally bumped into him at the bank then, he would call out ‘uncle, uncle’ and he would chatter away with something or other. He was always his merry self.

I do not remember how long Wan was with us. I only knew later that he went for further studies in Australia and the rest as they said, is history.

Some few years ago when his interview was featured in one of our local dailies (or tabloid?) Chef Wan who was already well known then, alluded to the episode when narrating his life story. He said that ‘after school, he left Pahang and stayed with his uncle Lokman in K.L. Through his uncle’s friend he got a job in a bank or something to that effect. When I read it, it really made my day. It showed his sincerity in acknowledging it when it may be just a moot point easily forgotten.

Chef Wan, you did extremely well for yourself. I am so proud of you. All the very best for the future from Uncle Hank.

You must also be so proud of your daughter. Wishing them also the best, Serina Redzuawan and Salahudin Ghafar O'Luanaigh ‘Selamat Pengantin Baru’ and may all your dreams come true!


On 1st Feb 2010, Chef Wan was conferred with the
Panglima Mahkota Wilayah by the DYMM Yang Di
Pertuan Agong which carries the title Datuk.

Chef Wan is to be officially addressed henceforth as
Datuk Redzuawan Ismail

August 14, 2010 at 10:57 PM


abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Hank,
Congratulations for having a part in the famous celebrity Chef's life in his early years. Never mind even if he could not remember your name, the mere mention of you is enough.

kaykuala said...

Dear Hal,
Right. I've not met him since though.

kaykuala said...

Updates: Redzuawan Ismail aka Chef Wan

On 1st Feb 2010 Chef Wan was bestowed with the Panglima Mahkota Wilayah by the DYMM Yang Di Pertuan Agong which carries the title Datuk.

Chef Wan is to be officially addressed henceforth as Datuk Redzuawan Ismail