Hovering some three metres above an eerily smoke-billowing stage, and with no apparent means of support, MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day welcomed guests to the Grand Finale party of the 2013 Malaysia International Gourmet Festival.
The levitating Dato' Steve Day calls on the Cool Chefs to join him on stage
In what could lay claim to be the capital’s Party-Of-The-Year, the disbelieving gathering – some 1000-plus guests including many of KL society’s who’s who – could only look on in awe and admiration. (And, this was not to be the most mind-boggling magic on the evening’s menu!)
The guests look on as the magical events unfold on stage
A glorious atmosphere during the awards presentation where the Cool Chefs celebrated their wins
The grand setting of the MIGF Awards & Celebration Party at the StarStage Concert Hall in KWC
Guest of Honour, Dato' Haji Azizan Noordin; MIGF Royal Patron, Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja'afar; Tunku Nurul Hayati, Datin Su Wai Fun & Tunku Mohamed Alauddin Tunku Naquiyuddin
Among the distinguished guests were Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah Tuanku Ja’afar and her husband Tunku Mudzaffar Tunku Mustapha; H.H. Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa from Bahrain; H E Martine Dorance, Ambassador of France; H E Luc Vandebon, Ambassador of the European Union; H E Shukor Sabitov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan; H E Gerardo Prato, Ambassador of Uruguay; H E Shigeru Nakamura, Ambassador of Japan; H E Eduardo Malaya, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Philippines; H E Christophe Ceska, Ambassador of Austria and many more well-known members of royalty, diplomats, socialites and corporate figures.
Ms Shawna Yap, Tunku Nurul Hayati, Dato' Farah Khan, Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah Tuanku Ja'a'far, and Datin Seri Raihan
HE Eduardo Malaya, Ambassador of The Philippines; Puan Sri Sylvia and Tan Sri Othman Abdullah
HE Mr Shukur Sabitov, Ambassador of The Republic of Uzbekistan and HE Gerardo Prato, Ambassador of Uruguay
Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, Dato Steve Day, Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja'afar and H.H. Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa
Donne Ray Radford, Folco de Luca Gabrielli, former Italian Ambassador and Nilou de Luca Gabrielli
Tan Sri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, former Cabinet Minister and Edward Holloway, Senior VP, Hotel Operations, Genting Malaysia Bhd
Festival fellowship - Mr Peter Schlatter of The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur, Mr Ian Hurst of Best Western Premier Dua Sentral , Ms Juliet Yap of Carlsberg and Mr Giuliano Ungaro of Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur
Then, the big moment arrived – a supernatural opening gambit that reverberated throughout the venue with MIGF Organizing Chairman, Dato’ Steve Day at the centre. With his voice heard over the loudspeakers, naturally, guests diverted their attention to the stage, but alas, this was empty. After scanning their surroundings and seaching in vain for the MIGF Head Chef, much to everyone's surprise, he magically appeared mid-air on stage!
MIGF Organizing Chairman, Dato' Steve Day knows how to make an entrance
Still in mid-air, Dato’ Steve declared that tonight was the chefs’ night off and the restaurant teams’ night off and that all would be served with a Taste of Malaysia sponsored by the Vision Four Media Group. He then invited everyone to dig into the delicious hawker style spread around the hall while the sounds of the band Evening Breeze provided entertainment that got guests tapping their feet and grooving to the rhythm as they lined up at the food stations.
The Cool Chefs striking a pose for the cameras after receiving their medals
The Tastes of Malaysia lined the Venue
More Tastes of Malaysia - Ipoh Hor Fun
The evening’s buffet featured the best of Malaysian cuisine with favourites including curry laksa, sotong kangkong, Penang fried kueh teow, assam laksa, cendol, rojak pasembor, satay, nasi lemak, yong tau foo, prawn mee and roti canai.
Midway through dinner, The Royal Patron, Tunku Naquiyuddin, Guest of Honour, Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin and Dato’ Steve took to the stage to present Festival Medals to the Chefs and commemorative plaques to the Festival Advisory Committee. Following this there was more magic, but this was no regular trick as it involved MIGF Royal Patron, Tunku Naquiyuddin, as the volunteer!
Receiving accolades - the Festival Advisory Committee and Festival Master Chefs line up on stage
A special box was lowered from the ceiling and Dato’ Steve invited Tunku Naquiyuddin to climb up a flight of steps and go inside. With the door firmly locked, the box was then hoisted back up by chains and pulleys. Dato’ Steve asked Tunku Naquiyuddin to wave a pair of MIGF mini flags through the fist-sized holes on the sides of the box to prove he was still there, which was gladly obliged by his Royal Highness. Tunku Naquiyuddin was also able to speak and reassure the audience that all was well by way of a hand held microphone.
Sorcerer’s Apprentice - Dato' Steve prepares to usher Tunku Naquiyuddin into the box
Helpers remove the stairway, leaving the Prince locked in the box as it is hoisted to the ceiling
While the box was being hoisted up Dato’ Steve performed a few madcap tricks for the audience before returning to the task in hand. A few magic words and a flourish of his magic wand then caused the door and walls of the box to collapse and fall down to the amazement of the audience. Gasps of surprise were heard around the venue, as never before had a Royal Prince vanished into thin air! Within an instant, however, sighs of relief and a round of applause erupted as Tunku Naquiyuddin’s voice boomed out over the speakers declaring that he was perfectly well. A spotlight went to the far end of the hall to reveal Tunku casually strolling back to the front of the venue waving the MIGF mini flags. The assembled throng could only marvel as to how cool and composed Tunku Naquiyuddin looked. Theories abounded as to how the trick was accomplished with many saying it reminded them of the James Bond ‘royal illusion’ performed at the London Olympics.
With the spell complete, the Royal Patron had vanished amid the gasps of a shocked audience
Applause erupts after the reveal - Tunku Naquiyuddin is seen on the big screen as the camera catches him entering from the far side of the hall.
With His Highness, Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, YBhg Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin and the media looking on in amazement, Tunku Naquiyuddin coolly arrives at his table after his magical disappearance
The awards presentation in full swing
Dato' Haji Azizan and Tunku Naquiyuddin congratulating and presenting awards to the winners
The winners posing for the camera with Tunku Naquiyuddin and Dato' Haji Azizan
Chef Alexander Waschl of The Restaurant holding up the Golden Cauldron Award trophy in victory
Chef Alex with Vice President of Marketing for Zurich Insurance Malaysia Berhad, Arne Becker
The girls of Kronenbourg 1664 serving the Kronenbourg 1664 lager and Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc beer
Official Imaging Partner, Fujifilm, instantly captured happy moments for guests
The Official Car of MIGF 2013, Land Rover, the sexieset 4-wheel drive currently on roads
U-Mobile, the Official Mobile Service Provider of MIGF 2013, came correct with a lucky dip and fantastic prizes
Let's dance the night away!
The Evening Breeze entertaining guests throughout the evening
For the comprehensive list of the Festival Awards winners of MIGF 2013, click on the following link: