What’s cooking at Jonathan Holland & Associates?

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While most people let their hair down with a glass of bubbly for the Christmas celebrations, the team at Jonathan Holland & Associates (JH&A) this week rolled up their sleeves – with spatula in hand – and donned aprons to whip up their own Christmas feast. But this isn’t your regular cookout or potluck – it’s a MasterChef-style (friendly) competition held on the grounds of the ToTT Cooking Studio in Singapore, where the group attended an Italian cooking class. How’s that for team building?

This writer was kindly invited by JH&A Managing Director Jonathan Holland to join in the fun – and it was fun, indeed. I am proud (but mostly ashamed) to say that I successfully peeled and sliced my first ever whole onion that day and learned how to make pasta sauce from scratch (upon hearing this, my mother, who’s a great cook, told me to never tell anyone that I was her daughter). I may not be a domestic goddess, but I’m getting there – with the help of my cooking partner, Oragarn, of course.

Jonathan Holland puts his game face on and shows us he means business

As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. The ‘Most Creative’ title went to JH&A’s dynamic marketing duo – a testament to the company’s mettle, surely? – while the award for ‘Best Flavour’ went to Jonathan and his two cooking partners. (Despite Chef Eric Low’s disclaimer that the winning team did not have the advantage of strength in numbers, I am inclined to disagree. No, I’m not being bitter…)

Culinary talent may abound in JH&A but judging by what’s on their plate for 2013, there is no need to consider a switch in careers just yet. Leading tourism consultancy IPK International has predicted a +12% increase in Chinese outbound travel next year – a factor that Jonathan deems will have the biggest and most significant impact on their business in 2013. The company has seen strong performance from its brands this year, particularly Amore Pacific-owned Laneige and Sulwhasoo, and is starting to roll out three more brands from the South Korean skincare and cosmetics company.

Big things are brewing for JH&A, so watch this space.

All smiles before we got down and dirty in the kitchen
My talented partner Oragarn (far left) keeping me from burning the kitchen down

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