Charlotte Mei’s banana-fig cake is moist. It is “moister than moist”, as its YouTube video title reads. It’s also gluten-free, lactose-free, and only needs 8 ingredients and a bowl for it to come together. This is much of what Charlotte’s philosophy revolves around — to bring sustainable, healthy living to everyone in the simplest of ways.
Her vast experience isn’t simply confined to the YouTube scene, though. At 23 years old, she came in second in Eat List Star, a local culinary competition hosted by Mediacorp in 2016. She’s since hosted, produced, and written for various talk shows and series, providing her expertise as a certified nutritionist. Below, she shares her food ethos with us, and also a little more about herself as a person, like how she can’t sit around and nua (do nothing).
Charlotte, what do you do and how did you get started?
I’m a nutritionist, host, and presenter. How did I get started? It’s quite strange — I never thought I would be working in media. Growing up, my parents were very strict. Whenever I was approached to model or participate in any sort of show, they would always tell me that education comes first. I never intentionally chose my path. I mean, looking back, you can sort of connect the dots … but, when I was making my career decisions, I didn’t know where it would lead me!
Right around the time I had to apply for uni, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. I spent a week asking myself questions and reflecting. By the end of the week, I realised that most of my questions had to do with food. I was at an age where I was worried about body image and health, and I didn’t know how to navigate that. There wasn’t a lot of information (on nutrition), like there is today. So, I went to the UK to study nutrition.
When I graduated, I had my first dream job of working as a nutritionist for Kellogg’s. The nutritionists were the strict people. Our job was to make sure the marketing messages the company wanted to print on packaging or put out were accurate. Say the marketing people wanted to say, “Eating chocolate cereal every morning will make you happy!,” — my job was to tell them, “No, we can’t, because that’s misleading, and we cannot be responsible for people eating chocolate every morning!” It was great but I wanted to move back to Singapore due to the weather. I aspired to be the next Jamie Oliver and revolutionize the way we view food and health in Singapore. But of course, that didn’t happen…yet!