Supermodel Danielle Graham undergoes a transformation not only as a fashionable blonde for our first cover of 2016 but she is also forging an exciting career reinvention in the culinary world as the author of a soon-to-be-released cookbook. You have the ideal Pan-Asian, mixed parentage background. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Sydney, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. What have you inherited from your east-meets-west upbringing?
I grew up with a Chinese mother and Irish father. I think I got the best of both worlds. Both my parents instilled the love of eating and sharing a meal together. My mother would show her love for us by cooking. She was always in the kitchen making something amazing for us to eat. I inherited this love of cooking for my loved ones from her. My father taught me the importance of having good table manners. My dad would not let us leave the table unless we had finished all our food. No elbows on the table. Take your plate to the sink when you are finished with your food. Today I find myself teaching my children these good habits. How did you start out in modelling?
I started modelling at 13 in KL. I shot one of my first campaigns for SEED. It was great because I got to shoot with my brother Matthew. What would you consider as the high point of your modelling career?
Moving to Hong Kong and getting to travel all over Asia for modelling assignments. My agency Calcarries took really good care of me. My manager is my best friend today and we are both godmothers to our children. You’ve settled down in KL after getting married. Do you still model much these days as a mum with a hubby and two beautiful kids in tow?
I am more careful these days about the jobs I choose to take on. I am not a spring chicken so I can’t compete with 18 year olds, but I have been there and done that. My family is my main priority these days. But if something comes along that pays really well or excites me, then I will happily want to be involved. From the pages of a fashion magazine to the pages of a cookbook – how did that happen?
I have always LOVED fashion and shooting editorials is a creative process which I get to be transformed and I really enjoy that part. Cooking has been my passion since I was 8 years old. I remember my dad teaching how to make Irish beef stew and mashed potatoes. My cookbook has been a dream that I made come true and it’s something I am very proud of. Tell us about your cookbook and the journey in its making?
The book will be out mid next year. I am very excited to share my family hand-me-down recipes and things I love to cook every day at home with everyone. It’s been an incredible journey. I shot (the images for) the book in Sydney recently and had the most amazing team. There are Asian and Western flavours that flow through the book. Some things are easy to make and others require more effort.