Sydney’s high priestess of Malaysian cuisine is Jackie M, a Malaysian-born, Sydney Uni-educated livewire. – Time Out Sydney

Jackie M - HeadshotJackie M is an acclaimed Malaysian & Singaporean street food specialist, former restaurateur, TV presenter and pioneer of live cooking videos.

Her no-holds barred approach to Asian cooking, along with her 20+ years of experience as a professional cook, has seen Jackie M’s following grow to 1.9 million worldwide at its peak and made her one of the most influential Australian chefs on social media.

Known for her platinum pixie-cut and no-nonsense attitude, Jackie is one of the foremost experts in the ancient techniques and classic flavours of Malaysian cooking. She puts theory into practice serving up some of the most authentic Malaysian food you’ll ever have the pleasure of experiencing, as well as giving a Southeast Asian twist to everyday Australian dishes.

A future as a cook was the last thing on Jackie M’s mind growing up in the small town of Seremban. However, having migrated from Malaysia to Australia as a teenager, she was continually frustrated at the sparse offerings that passed for Asian food outside of her home country.

She experimented with recipes and introduced Australians to Malaysian street food by running stalls at weekend markets in the early 90s. In 2001 Jackie made the life-changing decision to ditch her It career as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Associate, and follow full-time in the footsteps of her street-food vendor parents. She hasn’t looked back since.

Recreating the complex flavours that defined the cuisine of her childhood and expanding her repertoire exponentially through fastidious research — and plenty of trial and error — Jackie M was a regular feature at farmers’ markets around Sydney through most of the noughties.

Jackie opened her eponymous restaurant in 2006 and, since making the decision to close the bricks and mortar location in 2013, has turned her focus to food coaching, TV presenting and online content creation.

Jackie M cooking demonstration

Jackie M has a desire to bring global recognition to the vibrant food scene that makes Malaysia and Southeast Asia so unique — and bring its street food into kitchens across Australia. She is equally proud of her country of birth, Malaysia, her adopted country of Australia, and her Hakka-Chinese descent.

Jackie also has a keen interest in languages, having grown up speaking Hakka, Cantonese, Malay and English, and subsequently graduating The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in German, French, Spanish and Indonesian, as well as taking private lessons in Japanese while working for Itochu Australia.

Jackie is a proud sole parent to Noah, who was born with Down Syndrome and a number of life-threatening conditions that saw him spend the first 7 months of his life in hospital. Through her public profile Jackie hopes to raise awareness of people with Down Syndrome, and to inspire parents of sick children to see that life can be a blessing despite the challenges they face every day. More about baby Noah can be found in Jackie’s personal blogs, SerembanGirl.com and BabyNoah.com.au

Today, Jackie’s two main focuses, which she co-founded with her business partner Paul Gray, are Masters of Malaysian Cuisine and the Malaysian Street Food Academy (MSFA).

Jackie M is available for food and travel-related collaborations and promotions. Email jackie@jackiem.com.au for more information.


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