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MIGF 2012 Opens With a Symphony of Happenings
From the music to the food, it was a symphony of fun, scrumptious delights and great offerings at the Gala Launch of the MIGF 2012
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From the music to the food, it was a symphony of fun, scrumptious delights and great offerings at the Gala Launch of the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) 2012 at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre on 27 September.

Graced by Tourism Minister Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen, and attended by Malaysia’s who’s who as well as members of the media and the foodie blogosphere, the night started with a symphonic band dressed in chef’s whites serenading guests as they mingled in the foyer, in line with the theme “Classical Chefs – A Symphony of Great Cuisines”.

And as anticipation of the launch grew, MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day threw up a surprise that was met with plenty of chuckles, disguising himself among the musicians with everyone wearing a mask of his face. Then everyone trooped off-stage, leaving behind one masked man carrying a tuba – none other than Dato’ Steve himself.

In his welcoming speech, Dato’ Steve touched on the importance of the premium dining scene in Malaysia, and how the camaraderie between competing restaurants participating in MIGF only served to help strengthen the industry. Only in Malaysia, he said, do restaurants put aside their rivalry and work together for the betterment of the premium dining arena, and in turn the food and beverage industry as whole.

He also thanked the Tourism Ministry for making MIGF part of its Fabulous Food 1Malaysia initiative, which serves to promote the country’s food capabilities to the world, and sponsors for believing in the MIGF platform and helping make it what it is today – the country and region’s best-known gastronomy festival that has gone from strength to strength in the past 12 years.

Most of all, Dato’ Steve exhorted his guests to just enjoy themselves with the offerings specially laid out in the Theatre of Cuisines.

Then, with a swipe of knives, Dato’ Sri Dr Ng, Dato’ Steve and MIGF Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja’afar opened the 12th edition of MIGF, which serves up Special Festival Menus at Special Festival prices accompanied by a host of Special Festival Offers from 1-31 October.

As the evening progressed, the fun factor rolled on, with the introduction of the Classical Chefs from the 28 restaurants, a performance by violinist extraordinaire Dennis Lau and impressive stilt-walkers as the guests got the chance to tour the Theatre of Cuisines and the exquisite Festival Menus in a range of cuisines, from Malaysian favourites to French, Italian, Western, Latin American, Cuban, Lebanese, Japanese and Korean.

This also served as a wonderful introduction to Taste MIGF, the preview event of MIGF happening on 28 September, in which the general food-loving public can, for the first time, try for themselves the mouth-watering samples from the restaurants’ Festival Menus in the Super Gourmet Safari.

With free admission, all visitors to Taste MIGF need to do is purchase Taste Tokens, valued at RM5 each and sold in booklets of 10 for RM50, and they’re set for a premium culinary adventure like no other. Additionally, with the tasting dishes priced from 1-3 Tokens, Taste MIGF offers a great value-for-money foray into the world of premium dining.

Taste MIGF also features a Gourmet Village, with more than 80 stalls showcasing gourmet food and drink, including premium meats, ice-cream, chocolates, wines, milk, cheeses and even oysters. Meanwhile, also on the schedule is a range of Master Chef cooking classes and workshops on wine and coffee.

For more information on this fabulous preview event, visit www.tastemigf.com.

Classical Chefs

This year’s theme of “Classical Chefs – A Symphony of Great Cuisines” was chosen to symbolise and celebrate the roots and traditions of basic good and honest cooking.

“Over the years we’ve seen all sorts of innovative food trends make their debut – nouvelle cuisine, fusion, molecular cuisine, to name a few – and yet through it all, the experts still agree that nothing beats ‘Mama’s Cooking’!” says Dato’ Steve.

“Let’s face it, whatever the choice of cuisine, people simply love the classics, whether it be authentic Malaysian or authentic Japanese, Italian or any other cuisine.”

Of the participating restaurants, celebrating Malaysia’s rich food heritage are Bunga Emas and Enak KL which feature traditional Malay cuisine, with Makan Kitchen providing a multi-cultural round up of Malay, Chinese and Indian cooking, as well as fare from the Peranakan, Kristang and Iban communities. In their menus, you can discover dishes made from recipes that have been handed down from generations, including grilled fish marinated in coconut and cili padi paste and served with honey-tamarind sauce.

Chinese cuisine is strongly represented by The Emperor, Dynasty, Lai Po Heen, Five Sen5es and West Lake Garden, with a range of dishes from across the genre, including BBQ Beijing duck with mango and crispy taro; roulade of roasted crispy duck with eight treasures and glutinous rice garnished with fresh shimeji mushroom; Peking duck and Hong Kong bau.

For a superb mix of Chinese and Thai, there’s Imperial Rama, with creations such as double-boiled guinea fowl with Chinese herbs soup, while rounding up the Asian influence are Japanese masters Sagano, Kofuku and Ten Japanese Fine Dining with fresh raw seafood that can’t be beaten, and newbie Onsemiro Korean Fine Dining, with creations from the land of Kimchi that include beef chuck flap grilled over Korean Oakwood charcoal served with a special sauce; and traditional rice cakes with a honey filling.

Dishes just like those enjoyed by families in Lebanon are brought to you by Al-Amar, while European classics are presented by Prego, Senja and Nerovivo with full Italian flair, L’Heritage with Swiss perfection and Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie with French refinement.

Then there are Mandarin Grill, The Olive, The Restaurant, New Orleans Bar and Grill, Samplings on the Fourteenth Restaurant, Circus and Grill 582 with the best of Western and Continental dishes, while THE POMELO creates a chilled-out vibe with exquisite healthy cuisine and Qba Latin Bar and Grill dazzles with the unique taste of Cuba and the Caribbean.

And with prices starting from RM98++ per person for a three-course meal, you will find that the Festival Menus can provide you with an affordable introduction to the world of great cuisines and premium dining.