Archives: Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2008 (01-30 November 2008)

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A Spectacular Finale to Malaysia's Premier Month of Fine Dining
The month long Malaysia International Gourmet Festival drew to a sumptuous and...
A Spectacular Finale to Malaysia's Premier Month of Fine Dining
9 Dec 08
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The month long Malaysia International Gourmet Festival drew to a sumptuous and spectacular close with the Grand Finale Dinner at Palace of the Golden Horses last night. The glittering Oscar style awards ceremony, in the presence of the Royal Guest of Honour, Her Royal Highness, DYMM Tuanku Najihah binti Tunku Besar Burhanuddin, the Tengku Ampuan of Negeri Sembilan and the Festival’s Royal Patron, YAM Tunku Laksamana Negeri Sembilan Tunku Naquiyuddin Ibni Tuanku Ja’afar was attended by some 1000 guests representing the who’s who of Malaysian society.

The Hilton KL’s Senses won the prestigious Golden Cauldron Award for the best all round restaurant of the festival for the second year running and Chef Michael Elfwing of the Hilton KL’s Senses also bagged four more awards in the other categories. The Chef Congeniality Award is for the Most Admired Chef as voted by his or her fellow chefs and this inaugural award was given to Chef Lam Hock Hin of the Hilton KL’s Chynna. The traditional Chefs’ Charity Auction also saw celebrity auctioneer and sports personality, Justin Samson, generating bids worth RM315,000 for the Tuanku Najihah Foundation for disadvantaged Malaysians.

VVIP/Tuanku Najihah being escorted through the grand ballroom by YAM Tunku Shahabuddin
Kungfu shaolin style shadow theatre
Grand opening by the royal patron YAM Tunku Naquiyuddin and organising chairman Dato' Steve Day

Dato' Steve Day delivering an engaging introductory speech

All proceeds from the auction will go to the Tuanku Najihah Foundation

Chef Michael Elfwing being honoured with the 'Golden Cauldron Award' which honours the best overall restaurant

This year’s Festival tagline ‘Chef Attack” brought out the most spectacular launch gambit ever in the history of the event. Guests were treated to a shadow display of two Chinese martial artists in chefs’ outfit fending off opponents on stage. The gambit ended when the screen dropped and there stood a sporting Tunku Naquiyuddin, aided by Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day, both dressed in full chef’s attire, which had the guests in stitches of laughter. The Festival’s 28 Master Chefs then came charging out from backstage and shouted “Chef Attack” as they popped handheld confetti canons and champagnes to signal the start of the Grand Finale Dinner! The entertaining opening was followed by an evening of activities. The Oscar-style awards presentation had all participating restaurants on the edge of their seats, waiting to see if their month of immense effort had paid off. Said Dato’ Steve Day, “The difference that 8 years of the Festival has made is that our chefs in Malaysia are all working together. There’s great camaraderie, they’re having fun and the standards in the country have never been higher. Tonight we are here to honour the professional behind our Festival restaurants. They have already made a statement that they are the best in Malaysia and they are fearless when it comes to meeting the highest standards of cuisine and service.”

This year, 10 awards were presented and the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2008 award winners were: The Golden Cauldron Award for Best All Round Restaurant, Senses; Chef Congeniality Award, Chef Lam Hock Hin (Chynna); Best Marketed Restaurant of the Festival, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa (West Lake Garden & Avanti); Most Creative Dining Experience, Marriot Putrajaya (Tuscany & Summer Palace); Most Creative Festival Menu, Senses; Most Outstanding Festival Cuisine, Senses; Most Innovative Cuisine, Senses; Most Creative Food Presentation at the Gala Launch, Senses; Best Value Menu of the Festival, Red; Most Creative Restaurant Station at the Gala Launch, Marriot Putrajaya (Tuscany & Summer Palace) The guests were treated by a surprise performance by the ‘Dreamz Acrobatic Troupe’ from Genting. Immediately after the second round of auction, a performer disguised as a waitress started juggling a table on stage with her two nimble feet. This was followed by a series of entertaining acrobatic stunts from the troupe.

Dato' Kimberly Lau, in an exuberant display of victory, after his winning bid for Chef Ricky Kamiishi

Figaro Singers at the Grand Finale

The amazing acrobatic table talents of the Dreamz team from Genting

The Grand Ballroom festive ambiance

The Guests were also treated to a superb surprise performance by ‘Figaro’, Australia’s equivalent to global operatic superstars, ‘Il Divo’. The four vocal virtuosos literally went undercover during the Chef’s Charity Auction, disguised as visiting chefs to Malaysia. When one broke out in song, it took a moment for the audience to realise it was all a set up. The talented performers brought the house down with a magnificent rendition of ‘Unchained Melody’. “Tonight has been great. It’s wonderful to see such fellowship among people. MIGF has done a great deal towards contributing to the development of tourism. Malaysia has so much to offer and the organisers must be commended for the awareness the festival has helped generate. They (the organisers) deserve all the credit for the hard work they’ve put in to make it a success,” beamed YBM Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

“I’ve enjoyed myself very much. The whole evening has been very pleasant and the charity bidding part of the night was very exciting,’ said Datin Seri Maneesah. “I’m so happy that the charitable contributions were so high. People were very generous!”

As HE Petru Petra, Ambassador of Romania aptly quoted, “MIGF is a very well-organized event and one that has shone the spotlight on the Malaysian food and beverage industry. The festival has helped create awareness and propelled the country into the international gourmet arena.”

Indeed, Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day is optimistic that next year may prove to be even bigger and merrier!