Selangor mum makes incr-edible art

MALAYSIA - Snow White has grapes for sleeves, Cinderella is decked out in a nori gown and the Little Mermaid has scrambled eggs for hair. As far as Disney princesses go, mother of two Samantha Lee has got them all figured out.

The Selangor-based housewife creates plates of food art for her daughters each day, using simple ingredients found at the local supermarket.

Her love for telling stories with bits of asparagus-turned-grass, or cherry tomatoes for balloons, has garnered a huge fan base on photo- and video-sharing site Instagram ( Ms Lee has more than 280,000 followers from around the world.

Even supermodel and celebrity TV host Tyra Banks had been wowed by the cute food art, having reposted Ms Lee's creations twice on her personal Instagram account - one of an omelette-haired Nicki Minaj and the other of Psy the onigiri (rice ball), dancing in a pool of vegetables.

Ms Lee started sharing daily posts of her whimsical work about two years ago on Instagram.

"People have commented that I get to play with my food because I'm a housewife and that I must have a lot of time on my hands," said Ms Lee.

"That's not true at all. Staying at home with the kids is one of the toughest jobs a woman can have."

Her creations, elaborate as they are, take up a total of 1 1/2 hours each, which is about the same amount of time it takes to cook a meal for her family of four, including husband Desmond Goh, 39, who heads a mechanical and engineering company.

Her biggest challenge, though, lies in creating something new every day. Ms Lee's inspirations come from her two daughters, Elizabeth, six, and Evana, four. Her creative process includes sketching out designs on paper and running through a mental directory of useful (and tasty) ingredients that resemble the shape or colours of the design.

With hopes of publishing a cookbook on the theme soon, Ms Lee has vowed to stay grounded, despite having gained fame online. "You may fail the first time round, but keep going. That's how I got my own kids to be adventurous with food."