This Valentine’s Day, WeddingSutra celebrates Love Without Borders with Celebrity Chef Kelvin Cheung and Andrea Brown.
Love helps you find common ground, even if you have to cross to the ‘other side’ beyond each others’ boundaries. On a fine afternoon, WeddingSutra spent time with Kelvin Cheung, Corporate Chef and F&B Director of Aallia Hospitality and owner of Bastian and One Street Over restaurant and his wife Andrea Michele Brown, Head of Marketing & Communications of Aallia Hospitality, as they spoke to us about love, life, family and their adventures.
1. How did you meet and first impressions?
Andrea: My initial impression of Kelvin was that he was a very angry chef!
Kelvin: That was the day when I was forced on to social media so I was making a bunch of random angry tweets. She was coming for a menu tasting, they showed up late, so I went to their table, said “You know what, I’m having a very terrible day. Enjoy!” and just walked away.
The next couple of interactions would have been at yoga where she was a regular and some friends made me go. She and her best friend were always the goofy ones at the yoga class. They would always be laughing and messing around and the teacher would always be telling them to be quiet. I didn’t like the yoga but then I met her there and so I tried to go so that I could talk to her. I’d get cupcakes, treats and stuff like that for her.
After that, we ran into each other randomly and then I finally asked her to come and hang out with me. I thought she was very fun, interesting, strong and very intelligent.
2. Did love knock at your hearts or did it break the floodgates and come in gushing?
Andrea: It was not at first sight. I thought he was a really angry chef! Which is just the opposite of me.
Kelvin: As I got to know her, my love increased exponentially. Every time we had an interaction, I discovered something new about her that compounded with what I knew about her already. As I got to know her better, all the little details, all the little things, kind of opened it up and the feeling just kept growing.
Randomly, after one of the yoga classes, we went to Pali Market (a marketplace in Bandra, Mumbai). As she jumped into the car she smashed her head but she started laughing. Rather than being a drama queen and throwing a fit or crying about it, she was just laughing and I thought that was really funny.
3. Activities that are better with the other?
Kelvin: Everything, but eating is the major one. And doing nothing too – we have a lot of fun doing nothing. Even when we aren’t doing anything, we find ways to make the time enjoyable.
Andrea: Eating, traveling and working out. I would say traveling is my favorite. I love going and exploring a new city together, getting lost and finding a restaurant without really researching. I think our best find yet has been the eel shop.
Kelvin: Yes, that one is in Japan. We try not to look up blogs and websites and just walk until we find someplace where most locals eat. That’s how we found this place. We went to buy sushi and were walking around aimlessly when we stumbled upon this barbeque eel shop; a 5-generation-old eatery that has nothing but one thing – barbeque eel with rice. Every time we go there we go to this place at least once.
4. Alone time perks?
Kelvin: Crossfit, reading, video games
Andrea: Lots of girl time, spa time, reading
5. Complements and compliments? (Things that make you the perfect fit in terms of personality and what do you like about each other)
Kelvin: It’s a little hard to describe. I’m more explosive and she is more gentle, kind and caring. We are opposite in so many ways, but we have the same thought process so in the end everything just evens out.
What I love about her the most is the balance she brings to my life. I have a very crazy, intense, hectic lifestyle and she helps me learn how to manage and prioritize things.
Andrea: His work ethic is amazing and he is very, very funny. He can take a very serious situation and turn it into something that you will laugh at. I think that is something very good. I over think situations but Kelvin just explodes and then he is done, he is happy again.
He is very different inside and outside of work. Which, you should be. It is good to have a professional side and a personal side. I have less of a discrepancy between my two personalities while he can be a completely different person, given where he is.
6. Points of cultural convergence? Do you see that happening a lot in daily life?
Kelvin: We see that more on the emotional side. I come from a background that is very old school Chinese. We don’t show much emotion, there are no daily conversations between brothers, sisters, and family and a call lasts for two minutes. In her family, they talk to each other and message each other all day and we Skype them, we see the kids. They are very open about showing love and care. My side is the total opposite. We understand that there is family love there, but we never talk about it.
Andrea: Yea, just the way our families function is very different for us.
Kelvin: It took a while for me to get used to it too but it was great. For the first time, I went to visit her family, they would wake up, have breakfast together, and hang out and talk. When we are with my family, we wake up, ask if the other is going to work, make coffee and bounce from there.
7. Life with him/her
Kelvin: It’s definitely balanced, much healthier and much happier. It has opened up a less work-focused side of me.
Andrea: More exciting, funnier, more adventure and definitely more hectic.
8. Life without her/her
Kelvin: Work, pretty much. That’s about it.
Andrea: There wouldn’t be as much good food!
9. Love as defined by the lovers
Kelvin: It’s about understanding and acceptance of each other for good or bad and enjoying this acceptance.
Watch how the couple celebrated their #LoveWithoutBorders.
#LoveWithoutBorders is our latest editorial series. In a world that is getting increasingly polarised, we are shining the spotlight on couples and love that conquers all – caste, religion, distance, disapproval, gender and every other man-made borders. If you have a wonderful love story that conquered borders, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.