Lorraine Hahn talks kitchen
KITCHEN SPY - KITCHEN SPY By Heidi Ng () - April 27, 2006 - 12:00am
Lorraine Hahn hosted CNN International’s regional chat show, Talk Asia after returning from a one-year sabbatical in November 2001. During her sabbatical, she worked with 2Bsure.com and lectured at Hong Kong University. Between 1998 and 2000, she anchored CNN’S Biz Asia, the longest-running global television program focusing on Asian business news. She anchored the daily half-hour program from CNN’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong, in the process developing a flair for business jargon.

Hahn is a veteran business journalist and considered one of the most recognized and popular TV anchors in Asia.

As host of Talk Asia, she has welcomed personalities as diverse as outgoing World Trade Organization chief Mike Moore and golf legend Tiger Woods. She had the privilege of interviewing the region’s newsmakers and personalities behind the headlines. She interviews at least 50 famous personalities in a year, including veteran Asian actor Takeshi Kaneshiro, the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, and Korean R&B superstar Rain. From fields as diverse as politics, business, literature, and entertainment, her half-hour show connects viewers with leading personalities through revealing and in-depth interviews.

For example, Rain was a revelation. The 6’2"-tall superstar, who has fans from around the world who would fly just to see him perform and even sleep at ticket queues just to get tickets to his shows, talked poignantly about losing his mother at an early age and how she served as a pillar of strength for him.

She also interviewed Jin Xing, the ex-Chinese PLA soldier, who underwent transgender surgery, became a ballerina dancer, and is now cultural ambassador of China for the performing arts.

Another unforgettable interview was when she had to fly to Munich in just a day’s time to interview Anwar Ibrahim. Lorraine recalls Mahathir Muhammad, the former Malaysian prime minister, admitting to her that he was nervous for the interview. Tiger Woods even taught her how to hold her irons right.

"Another memorable subject was Giorgio Armani," she shares. "He is a professional. He is really hands on, really does it, he’s right there. He is not young, but he has the energy of a 30-year old."

Before her interview with Elton John, she was told that he is very sensitive, does not want to be touched, neither does he want to sign autographs. "However he gave me a kiss, so I didn’t wash my face for one day," Lorraine laughs as she recalls that memorable interview.

Spanish tenor Jose Carreras revealed in his interview how his near-death brought him closer to his family and gave him a new look on life. He further added that he now treasures every moment; he was good-natured and kind-hearted.

Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, on the other hand, told her he has a five-year-old daughter now, and he admitted that in his youth, he did not give to his other children what he can give now, and he felt sorry for that.

Eric Rush, the former All Blacks captain of New Zealand rugby, revealed in his interview that until today, a day does not go by that he does not feel sorry and regretful for having accidentally killed a man. He feels so much remorse for the dead man’s family and wishes he could find someway of quieting their sorrow and loss. Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor of Singapore, once the most powerful man of the island-state, openly spoke about his grandson. Never before has he mentioned his grandson’s illness in any interview.

In December 1999, Hahn was named Highly Commended News Presenter/Anchor at the Asian TV Awards. Prior to joining CNN International, she worked with CNBC/NBC in the Asia Pacific for three years, hosting the network’s flagship program Business Tonight, as well as The Winners, Talk of Asia, and NBC Asia Evening News. She was also involved in CNBC’s coverage of the historic Hong Kong handover in 1997.

Before joining CNBC in March 1995, she worked for three years as senior producer and anchor in Hong Kong for Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB), where she developed the station’s first English-language business program focusing on China. From 1991 to 1992, she was the financial news editor for Hong Kong’s first 24-hour radio station, Metro Broadcasting. Hahn entered television broadcasting as a senior reporter and anchor for TVB’s general and financial news units in 1988, and then moved on to present the English-language daily program, The Financial Report. She began her career in broadcasting with Hong Kong’s only commercial radio station, Commercial Broadcasting Corporation.

She was just vacationing in Hong Kong from Canada to visit her grandmother when she was offered to do radio, and then became the television personality she is now. At that time, Commercial Broadcasting Corporation was the only commercial radio station, and she started at the lowest rank as a reporter.

Hahn was born in Singapore and migrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1979. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and English literature from the University of British Columbia and speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Malay, and French.

One cannot pinpoint her ethnicity just by her looks because her features are very unique. That’s because she has an Irish-Laotian for a grandmother, a Chinese grandfather, and a Korean father. Her parents met in Singapore while her father was the managing editor of Reuters for Southeast Asia. Her father, in fact, was the first Asian man to head Reuters in Southeast Asia.

Her father is the one that cooks in the family. "He makes this very good fried noodles," Lorraine says. Three times a month, she invites her friends over and she cooks.

She adds, "I learn dishes I like to eat. But now, I have less time to cook. I can make Taiwan beef noodle, Taiwanese celery salad, beef brisket noodle, beef curry Malaysian style with no coconut milk, and beef stroganoff."

She even learned how to cook chicken adobo before, and still has the recipe until now.

She called me up on my mobile phone from Hong Kong asking if we could move our shoot to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel later in the afternoon because the market does not open until 3 p.m. On the day of our shoot, she was at the hotel lobby right on the dot. There she was carrying her bag with fresh crabs bought from the market and other ingredients, too. The Shangri-La Kowloon had a surprise for her – her very own chef’s jacket personalized with her name! She donned the jacket and managed the wok. The result was a delicious crab and spring onion dish that you can try at home.
Spring Onion Crab
1 fresh crab
2 tablespoons oil
6 slices fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
5 stalks green onions
chili (optional)

Clean 1 crab and cut into pieces. Heat wok. Add about 2 tablespoons of oil. Heat oil. Add fresh ginger or the same amount in pounded ginger. Fry ginger until brown. Add crab. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch, salt or soya sauce. Add according to your taste. Put two tablespoons Chinese cooking wine. Stir fry. Add fresh Chinese green onion. Add fresh chilli ( optional). Keep stir frying until crab turns reddish.Taste the sauce before shutting off the flame. If too salty, add some water to taste.
Taiwanese Celery Salad
2 pieces ginger
1 teaspoon mijimoto powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Cut celery into finger slices or bite-sized pieces. Boil a pot of water and put celery into boiling water for about three minutes. Take celery out and throw out the hot water. Rinse the celery with cold water. Cut the young ginger into one- to two-inch pieces and chop finely. Drain celery. Peel the celery.

Place the celery on a plate and put ginger on top. Add one teaspoon of mijimoto powder, which can be bought at any Chinese food store, or you can try using chicken powder. Add one teaspoon salt. Add a little sesame oil, maybe two teaspoons. Mix all this together and taste.

This dish tastes best when served chilled.
* * *
Many thanks to the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel and Patsy Chan.
* * *
E-mail your feedback to starkitchenspy@yahoo.com.

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