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A Model Chef's Favorite Places


Supermodel and cookbook author Danielle Graham dishes to MARK LEAN about her favorite places in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

Published on May 26, 2017

 

FEW FOREIGN MODELS have been able to captivate Hong Kong's famously fickle fashion world as long as Danielle Graham, the still fresh-faced Eurasian stunner who landed in the city at the impressionable age of 18. She quickly bagged the plum Olay China spokeswoman role, a gig she has retained for more than a decade. After countless magazine covers, shoots for Marie Claire Hong Kong, Elle Hong Kong and Harper's Bazaar, and television commercials, now she has debuted her first cookbook, On the Table at Home (US$53).

On the Table at Home
Find Graham's tuna tataki salad recipe in her cookbook. Chris Chen.

Born in Malaysia to a Chinese mother and an Irish father, the multi-ethnic Graham has ample fodder for global cuisine, and now that she has kids of her own, nutrition and wellness play a big part in her culinary creations. Among the recipes are dishes inspired by her heritage, along with a few gems picked up along her travels: tuna tataki salad, chicken karaage, and agedashi tofu. Graham is also a huge fan of fresh seafood. "I have my fishmonger's number on speed dial, and place my order early in the morning," she says. According to her, nothing beats picking up a fresh snapper from the morning market, steaming it for dinner or making a light ceviche for lunch on a hot summer's day. Here, her go-to spots for dining and wellness in her two favorite cities.

+ Duddell's (dinner for two HK$800) is Graham's favorite Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. "I love the charming space; the dim sum is delicious," she says. "The abalone puff is to die for and the barbecue Iberian pork is so juicy that it melts in your mouth."

Duddell's
Duddell's dim sum. Courtesy of Duddell's.

+ "I often bliss out with the four-hand massage at Be Urban Wellness in Kuala Lumpur, followed by time in the oxygen chamber. I also come here for private yoga classes."

Be Urban Wellness
Be Urban Wellness massage room. Courtesy of Be Urban Wellness.

+ "Dining at Cilantro (dinner for two RM500) in Kuala Lumpur is always a good idea with its divine French-style Japanese food," Graham says. "I had a cooking lesson with the chef Takashi Kimura. He taught me how to make his signature abalone capellini with caviar. I also recommend the pan-fried unagi with foie gras. It's so good with a glass of pinot noir."

+ In Kuala Lumpur, you can find her shopping at cult-brand purveyor Kens Apothecary, stocking up on beauty products. "I can't live without the Lavender Diptyque candle. And whenever I need some retail therapy I head to M Store at Pavilion Mall. They have an amazing selection of cool clothes and accessories."

 

 

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Model and culinary queen Danielle Graham. Chris Chen.
  • The cheerful interior at Duddell's. Courtesy of Duddell's.
  • Trio dried seafood dumpling. Courtesy of Duddell's.
  • A fragrant Lavender Diptyque candle. Courtesy of Diptyque Paris.
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