Violet Oon has been just about everything there is to be in the food business – critic, author, publisher, speaker, teacher, television presenter, restaurateur, consultant, and, of course, chef. One of Singapore’s best known food personalities, she has met and shared Asian recipes and food tips with some of the top chefs in the world.
Born to a Peranakan family, Violet’s love affair with the kitchen began when she was sixteen. It dawned on her then that if she did not make the effort to document her family’s recipes and learn to cook them, “there would come a time when I would no longer be able to savour my favourite foods”, she wrote in the foreword to her book Peranakan Cooking.
On graduating from the University of Singapore in 1971, Violet joined the New Nation newspaper where she wrote about music and the arts. In 1974 she was asked by the paper’s editor to start a food column – and so began her career in food. In 1987, after more than a decade as a food columnist in newspapers and magazines, she started her own publication, a monthly magazine called The Food Paper that she produced for several years. Violet has written three books - Peranakan Cooking, Violet Oon Cooks, and A Singapore Family Cookbook. Other books include the Curry Cookbook, which she co-authored for a German publisher; Naturally Peninsula, commissioned by the Peninsula Hotel group of Hong Kong; and cookbooks for Tiger Beer and for International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore). Over the years she has appeared frequently on local and international radio and television shows.