It's Alimentary.


Selected written works


PhD Thesis  

“A Taste of Empire.  Food, the Colonial Kitchen and the Representation and Role of Servants in India, Malaysia and Singapore, c.1858-1963”, University of Western Australia, 2010



Cecilia Leong-Salobir, Food Culture in Colonial Asia: A Taste of Empire, London, Routledge, 2011.

Cecilia Leong-Salobir, Urban Food Culture in Asia Pacific: Sydney, Shanghai and Singapore in the 20th Century, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.


Book Chapters

Cecilia Leong-Salobir, ‘Spreading the Word: Using Cookbooks and Colonial Memoirs to Examine the Foodways of British Colonials in Asia, 1850-1900’, in Carol Helstosky (ed) The Routledge History of Food, Routledge, 2014.

Cecilia Leong-Salobir, ‘Striving for Diversity and Equity’ in Jenny Gregory with Jean Chetkovich (eds.) Seeking Wisdom: A Centenary History of The University of Western Australia, University of Western Australia Publishing, 2013.

Cecilia Leong-Salobir, ‘Food Stories:  culinary links of an island state and a continent’, in Ian Austin (ed) Australia-Singapore Relations: Successful Bilateral Relations in a Historical and Contemporary Context, Select Books, Singapore & Edith Cowan University, 2011.


Journal Articles:

Cecilia Leong-Salobir, “Introduction: Rescuing Taste from the Nation?”, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, Special Issue, February 2016.

Cecilia Leong-Salobir, “‘Cookie’ and ‘Jungle Boy’: A Historical Sketch of the Different Cooks for Different Folks in British Colonial Southeast Asia c. 1850-1960”, Global Food History, Inaugural Edition, Volume 1, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.

Cecilia Leong-Salobir, “Mem and Cookie: The colonial kitchen in Malaysia and Singapore,”  Estudios de Asia y Africa, Centro de Estudios de Asia y África, Special Edition, May 2015 (translated into Spanish).


Edited Journal:

Jackie Rohel, Krishnendu Ray, Cecilia Leong-Salobir, (eds) “Rescuing Taste from the Nation? Oceans, Borders and Culinary Flows”, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, Special Issue, February 2016.

Ruth Morgan Cecilia Leong-Salobir, Jeremy Martens, (eds) ‘Western Australia in the Indian Ocean World’, Studies in Western Australian History, Centre for Western Australian History, Volume 28, 2013.





As a food historian, I am intrigued by the current level of food discourse both here in Australia and worldwide. While my research interests have focused on British colonial food history (India, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia), I am keen to engage a wider dialogue on food as something to be enjoyed and appreciated with all its associated cultural and social meanings. The Digest will not engage in the dark arts of precious and pretentious pontifications about food consumption, something so central to our lives. Someone, I can't remember who, said, "just eat the food and don't give me all that philosophical crap"!  I will draw on my Chinese Hakka background for meals and food practices that have sustained the Chinese "gypsies" for centuries. I will post recollections from my years spent living and eating in Malaysia, New Zealand, Brunei, Germany, England, Tanzania, the Sudan and of course Australia. And, there will be restaurant reviews, but I will go as far as to say that no vicious review shall darken these pages.  More scathing, however, may be the close critiques of food critics themselves!

Illustration & Design by Nena Salobir

© 2015 Cecilia Leong-Salobir.  All rights reserved.