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Ten Years of Passion and Commitment
Ten years of passion, commitment and friendly rivalry have led to excellence says Malaysia International Gourmet Festival Organising Chairman, Dato’ Steve Day
 
Back in 2001, well before “food-tourism” became a buzzword and “celebrity chefs” a regular presence on our TV sets, all the top fine dining restaurants in Kuala Lumpur did an amazing thing. They agreed to put aside their personal differences and work together for mutual benefit. Not an easy task in the haute cuisine world, well known for super egos and intense rivalries (ever see the movie Ratatouille?)!
 
So why do it? The simple reason was necessity! Ten years ago, there were barely a dozen fine dining restaurants in the country – and most of these were loss leaders in 5-Star hotels. Though Malaysians loved dining out, they preferred hawker food and traditional eateries over fine dining restaurants which were perceived to be dull, pretentious and overpriced. This was a problem, for without a strong local base few fine dining restaurants could survive. Clearly something had to be done to make fine dining more accessible, more relaxed, better value and more fun; something that would also let the world know more about our fabulous food and fine dining capabilities.
 
That something turned out to be the KL Gourmet Festival – since evolved into the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival – and the rest, so to speak, is history.
 
Ten years down the road and Malaysia is now internationally recognised as one of the world’s top food tourism destinations and MIGF, winner of the PATA Gold Award for Marketing, is arguably the best gourmet event in the region. And of course the local fine dining scene, with scores of world class restaurants, has felt the benefits and is now positively booming.
 
Every year the Festival Chefs pull out all the stops to surprise and the standard of cuisine and service gets better and better. So when you dine out this October, remember that you will be benefiting from ten years of passion and commitment – and ten years of ‘friendly rivals’ trying to outdo each other with their Festival offerings!
 
Happy dining or, as we say in Malaysia, Jemput Makan!
 
MIGF - Deservedly Recognised
It is our fine-dining capability and excellence of service that the country is ultimately judged by, says YAM Tunku Dato’ Seri Utama Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar
 
As the Royal Patron for the tenth successive year, I have had the privilege of witnessing the remarkable growth of this Festival from its humble beginnings in 2001, when a small band of 13 restaurants formed the inaugural KL Gourmet Festival, to the hugely successful and prestigious Malaysia International Gourmet Festival it has evolved into today.
 
These past ten unbroken years of excellence owe a great deal to the staying power of the organiser, AsiaReach Events.
 
MIGF is a painstaking event to put together and I for one know they have faced many challenges, not the least of which has been securing the financing to make the event happen. It is a bittersweet fact that as the Festival has grown in size and reputation, so have expectations; both locally and internationally.
 
This is why the Festival owes so much to its Festival Sponsors and Media Partners and particularly the Minister of Tourism, YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, who has made MIGF a cornerstone of her Fabulous Food 1 Malaysia strategy.
 
I am delighted to see MIGF getting the government recognition it deserves. Although our delicious hawker food is widely loved, in reality it is our fine-dining capability and excellence of service that the country is ultimately judged by and which, in the long run, generates the most revenue whether from high yield tourists and MICE delegates or high net worth business travellers.
 
I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the enlightened General Managers of our leading hotels, as well as the independent restaurant owners and top F&B professionals who have backed the Festival these past ten years. My admiration also knows no bounds for our magnificent Festival Chefs and world class service teams, and not forgetting the often unsung heroes - the kitchen helpers who work so hard behind the scenes.
 
The first thing most people do when visiting a country is look for a good place to dine, but those fortunate enough to be in Malaysia this October will not need to look far. The Festival theme is “Magical Chefs” and after ten successive years of raising the bar you can be sure that the cuisine has never been more magical or more exciting.
 
Have a wonderful time during the Festival!
 
Spreading the Festival Word
MIGF is vital for our MICE business and attracting the big spenders to our shores says YB Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen
 
It is with great pleasure that the Ministry of Tourism welcomes the world to Malaysia this October to once again dine with us during the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) – a highlight of our Fabulous Food 1 Malaysia programme and the showcase event for our important fine dining industry.
 
This is the 10th year of this prestigious, award winning Festival and I would like to congratulate AsiaReach Events for all their efforts in achieving this hard earned milestone and more importantly for putting Malaysia’s fine dining firmly on the world food tourism map.
 
Hundreds of millions of people throughout the world have now been exposed to MIGF and, through media coverage - television, print and internet, know a lot more about our fine dining capabilities. This is vital for our MICE business and for attracting the big spenders to our shores.
 
This year the Ministry is going one step further in its promotions. We will be publicising MIGF Tour packages far and wide. These 5 days/ 4 nights’ special packages will enable visitors to enjoy Malaysia’s fine dining all-year-round, combining visits to MIGF restaurants with an optional selection of cooking classes, golf, spa treatments, shopping trips and city tours. These packages also make great corporate incentives and gifts so we welcome everyone to participate.
 
Have a wonderful time in Malaysia during the Festival and enjoy our fabulous food and fabulous fine dining - with our magical chefs - you are in good and capable hands!
 
Malaysia - Truly Asia!