7. Quiet solo time in Grožnjan. Photo by Cindy Ross.jpg
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7. Quiet solo time in Grožnjan. Photo by Cindy Ross.jpg

MEET SHARLENE


ALLOW ME TO RE-INTRODUCE MYSELF

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MEET SHARLENE


ALLOW ME TO RE-INTRODUCE MYSELF

 

I'm a television and video producer, director, writer and host who has been working in the industry for over 10 years. As a first gen Hakka-Canadian, my hardcore nomadic spirit is in my blood. Hakka people constantly moved around China and migrated all over the world to countries like India, South Africa, Mauritius and Jamaica—thus the translation of Hakka as “guest people.” So, it’s no surprise that my MO in life is to seek out hidden and untold stories by exploring the world through different perspectives.

Notably, I was a part of a small team that launched MTV in Canada in 2006 as well as produced a weekly music segment that ran on the flagship show, MTV Live, called On the Radar, where I established a reputation for featuring up and coming independent bands and artists.

From there, I brought MTV News to Canada by introducing it as a segment, before evolving MTV News into a daily half-hour program. The original segment featured me reporting on music stories and covering festivals such as SXSW, Austin City Limits, Osheaga, Coachella, Bestival, and T in the Park. I've conducted hundreds of candid interviews with a wide range of music artists, including Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Vampire Weekend, Wyclef Jean, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, The Strokes, and Rihanna. My interview with M.I.A., when the artist had just returned from humanitarian work in Liberia and Australia, ran on multiple MTV networks including Australia, Germany, UK, and Sweden. I also memorably surprised Adele with a video message from her former music teacher, resulting in an emotional interview in front of a live studio audience.

After winning a Travel Journalism Award for Best in Broadcast for my special, MTV News Pounds Britain, I created and produced SHARLENE VS., an MTV travel series that took viewers beyond where the tourists go. In each city, I met artists of all kinds who took me under their wing, showing unique, off-the-beaten-track spots special to them and the personal stories behind each location. Cities explored on the show included Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Austin, Houston, Lyon, London, Isle of Wight, Reykjavik and Lisbon, and aired in prime-time.

Publications I have written and photographed for include: Refinery29, Trivago, Fashion Magazine, Flare, W Dish, Travel & Style, and The Cleaver Quarterly, and awards that I've served as a juror include: Polaris Music Prize and Prism Prize.

See below to connect with me online.

 
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For the Love of Food


FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD

For the Love of Food


FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD

Both my parents were the first of their siblings to immigrate to Canada from Calcutta, India and so they brought with them both families after marrying in Toronto to start a new, hopeful life. We all lived in a small but very loud house (my dad is the eldest of five and my mom is the second eldest of six). All my memories of growing up include a busy, hot kitchen filled with chopping, dicing, wrapping, folding, frying, you name it and it was happening in my tiny childhood kitchen.

I learned very early on that a good cook never blames her tools. We had one wok, one butcher knife, one round cutting board (all lugged across the Atlantic) and a 3x3 working space but the output could fill up an army- crispy sweet and spicy ginger chicken, chilli shrimp with caramelized onions, stir-fried cumin beef, sweet soy fried noodles, braised whole fish in black bean sauce… brightly flavorful dishes unique to my Chinese-Indian background that make me salivate with nostalgia when I think about them; these were immensely delicious dishes not because of the efficient cooking techniques passed on from the home, generation to generation, but because each dish was poured over with an abundance of love.

When you cook from the heart, you don’t need a recipe, you let your history and passion guide you. As soon as I was walking, I was in the kitchen observing and helping out and that’s how I know what I know today in the kitchen and I have my kick-ass mom to thank for that. She always stressed the importance of knowing how to cook well – that it's a respected gift you share with the ones you care about, one that comforts and is always there creating memories.