SHE is happy to share her food experiences, both good and bad, online but food blogger Chen Yixiao will not spill ink over doughnuts.
Chen, 21, who is studying business at the Singapore Management University, has a phobia of the ring-shaped pastry.
This fear was born during a family road trip in the United States when she was eight.
'Every pit stop we made had a Dunkin Donuts stand and the smell of doughnuts wafting out of the store, which I can only describe as foul, always made me nauseous,' she says.
She started hautestuff.blogspot.com at the end of 2004 to keep her mind off a dull marketing internship. Her blog gets 250 hits daily.
While most of her entries are about fine dining at upscale restaurants, she insists that she's no food snob.
'I find bliss in a peanut butter and jelly sourdough sandwich. Good food is measured by the satisfaction it brings and not its price.'
You blog mostly about gourmet meals. Can you stomach hawker fare?
Of course. It's just that having grown up on hawker food - our family used to have it every weekend - its novelty has worn off. There are only that many plates of chicken rice and bowls of laksa around that can excite my tastebuds.
If you had to eat only one hawker dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Teochew bak chor mee. The variety of toppings it carries lends the dish an assortment of flavours - sweet, sour and salty - and I am less likely to grow sick of it.
Do you have any odd dining habits?
I do not mind having cakes or pastries for a meal. I also go through spells where I take a fancy to a new food or dish and eat it every day for some two weeks before moving on to something else.
I've been through a ban mian phase and a Cedele's carrot cake phase. Currently, I'm in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich craze.
Do you cook?
I have only cooked about six times so far, all during a six-month exchange programme at the Copenhagen Business School from January to June last year.
My idea of cooking involves the words 'just add water' and 'microwave for three minutes'. I cannot tolerate spending more time preparing food than eating it.
What did you live on during your programme in Copenhagen then?
I was living on a budget so I ate really frugally and shopped in the discount section of the supermarket. During my first month there, I had hotdogs from 7-Eleven almost every day because they were being sold at a promotional price of 10 kroners (S$2.80) each.
But I did not feel like I was missing out on the Danish culinary scene. Yes, their meatballs are yummy but their food culture lacks the vibrancy of New York, London and even Singapore.
Did you crave any Singaporean food while in Copenhagen?
No. I have always loved bread and pastry so I was kept happy with the smorgasbord of Danish pastries. But I did miss my family's monthly steamboat dinner, which would include fresh seafood from the market and my Mum's special minced meat dumplings.
What's your one food weakness?
As much as I like pastries and chocolate, it's thick-cut double-fried frites with ketchup and mayonnaise that makes me go soft in my knees. I first had it while on holiday in Belgium last year and recently found some really good ones at local restaurant Brussels Sprouts.
You're studying business. Ever thought of making a career in the world of food?
No. I have watched enough culinary reality shows on the Asian Food Channel to know that it's not The Simple Life for restaurateurs.
Chen Yixiao is also a guest contributor to AsiaOne Wine, Dine & Unwind.