Archives: Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2013 (01-31 October 2013)
A Fabulous Gastronomic Extravaganza
“Great food is a central part of the Malaysian experience,”
says the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture,
YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to experience the 13th Malaysia International Gourmet Festival – “Cool Chefs – Cooking with Attitude” - that runs throughout October.

Thanks in no small part to our internationally famous and award winning Gourmet Festival, Malaysia now has a worldwide reputation for premium dining and a range of exquisite local and international cuisines unimaginable a decade or so ago - a reputation essential for attracting high yield tourists and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) delegates to our shores.

Along with the world’s oldest rain forests, beautiful beaches and our unique multicultural heritage, great food is a central part of the Malaysian experience.

There are few other countries that can draw upon such a wonderfully rich and diverse set of culinary influences - Malay, Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, Iban, Baba, Nyonya, and a host of other indigenous cuisines; as well as Arab, Portuguese, Dutch, British, Thai, Filipina, Indonesian, Cambodian, Korean, Japanese, and a myriad others. All of these influences are reflected among the cuisines and cooking techniques found in our Festival restaurants.

I would like to congratulate AsiaReach Events, for their tireless and always innovative efforts in placing Malaysia’s premium dining firmly on the world food tourism map. In conjuction with ‘Visit Malaysia Year 2014’, the Festival Organisers are now rolling out Taste MIGF - a wonderful new tasting event.

Thanks to this initiative, tourists can get a full preview of what to expect from our best restaurants as they all gather in a spectacular ‘Theatre of Cuisines’. They can also shop at the ‘Epicure International Gourmet Village’ and enjoy cooking classes and lifestyle workshops.

I would also like to thank all our top restaurants and their Master Chefs for working together to make Taste MIGF and MIGF happen as well as the Festival Sponsors and Media Partners for their invaluable contributions. Being a food lover myself, I will definitely be dining out during MIGF 2013, and I invite you to join me in this fabulous gastronomic extravaganza!

Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia!

Our Cool Chefs Exude Confidence
YAM Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar

As the Royal Patron since inception back in 2001, I am amazed that every year, without fail, a new Festival theme is adopted which appears to capture the mood of the dining scene in Malaysia.

Last year we had our “Classical Chefs” which called for a return to the basics of good cooking after the universal onslaught of fusion and molecular cuisine. Now this year, “Cool Chefs – Cooking with Attitude” boldly tells the world that Malaysia’s premium dining has come of age.

This confident statement is a far cry from that tentative first year of the Festival when barely a dozen premium restaurants could be found in the whole of KL. Back then, there was a deep rooted apathy among local food lovers for fine dining. Their preference by far was for our renowned hawker food, eaten in a relaxed and friendly outdoor setting. Dining in a top restaurant was viewed by many as pretentious and expensive. How things have changed… and who could have imagined the impact that MIGF would have had?

When our top restaurants first put aside their differences and came together to collectively market themselves they triggered a chain reaction. As a Festival body, they got noticed and more people decided to try them out; this increase in business led to more entrepreneurs investing and opening restaurants.

Over time, a wide range of international cuisines entered the market to supplement the local ones already here, while service standards and menu choices were also elevated. Through MIGF, our chefs gained international reputations and the country got globally noticed for its exceptional fine food and dining experiences.

This was what Malaysia needed, and today our burgeoning dining scene is proof of what the collective Festival willpower can do. It is a fact that when our best restaurants are doing well, the effects trickle down to influence the entire Food and Beverage scene in the country. And, of course, we diners all benefit too. While our “Cool Chefs” present “Cooking with Attitude” this October, I must also applaud the attitude of the Organiser, AsiaReach Events Sdn Bhd for so resolutely sticking to their task over the past 13 years.

It is not easy putting together a Festival of this magnitude especially when the expectations of both local and international diners get more demanding each year as the Festival grows in reputation.

And talking of reputations, a reputation for world class dining is a key factor in influencing high net worth travellers to choose Malaysia as a tourist destination and for this reason it is pleasing to see the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Malaysia putting their weight behind the Festival.

May I take this opportunity to wish all of you a wonderful MIGF 2013!

Our Chefs Are The Coolest in The World!
YBhg Dato’ Steve Day

When we came up with this year’s Festival theme, I was asked a number of times – “What do you mean by the phrase “Cool Chefs - Cooking with Attitude”?

As our Royal Patron, Tunku Naquiyuddin, mentioned in his foreword, the phrase does evoke a feeling of ‘having arrived’ – a sense that Malaysia quite rightly deserves its reputation as a world class food destination and that the Chefs of the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival epitomize this.

On a more personal note, however, I have my own reasons for thinking our Festival Chefs are the coolest in the world!

In 13 years of working with them, it never fails to impress me as to how unassuming and friendly they all are and how well they all get along together regardless of ethnicity or nationality. They are top notch professionals in a highly competitive industry and yet somehow, year after year, they manage to put aside their egos to work together for the common good of the Festival.

Mind you, working in a friendly country like Malaysia definitely helps too!

As for “Cooking with Attitude” the word cooking has two meanings. The first is when the word ‘cooking’ is used as a noun. “Cooking with Attitude” describes the end product – the ‘cooking’, or the dishes themselves which exude confidence, style, chutzpah and pzazz. All you need to do is look through the Festival Menus and food pictures in this Festival Magazine and you will see what I mean.

The second meaning of “Cooking with Attitude” is when the word ‘cooking’ is used as a verb – i.e. the way the chefs cook. See them in action during MIGF 2013 and again you will see what I mean. I can assure you that their actions will reverberate with confidence, style, chutzpah and pzazz!

So now you know what we mean by “Cool Chefs Cooking with Attitude”. But please, don’t take my word for it. Be sure to visit as many Festival Restaurants as you can during MIGF 2013 this October. Go with family, friends and business associates. You will definitely find out the meaning of this Festival theme for yourselves!

Jemput Makan!