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A Gala Of Gastonomy
The spectacular Gala Launch of Taste MIGF provided the perfect kick-starter to the explosive weekend ahead
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The Taste MIGF weekend kicked off in flamboyant fashion as the much-anticipated Gala Launch at Berjaya Times Square Hotel’s 14th Floor gathered together a VIP guestlist of Malaysia’s who’s who to revel in the culinary spread.

Among the stellar lineup of invited guests were guest of honour, Dr Junaida Lee Abdullah, Deputy Secretary General, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and Festival Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar. Joining them for the night of merriment were foreign ambassadors, royalty, captains of industry, celebrities, members of the Festival Advisory Committee and many more.

Over 2,000 guests filled the grounds

The Gala Launch was the first chance for diners to taste the dishes that will be available throughout October

Over 2,000 people packed the Theatre of Cuisines sampling tasting portions from 25 of Malaysia’s best restaurants as the party atmosphere went into the small hours. With the Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival marking its 16th edition, expectation and anticipation were high to see what the High Octane Chefs would have in store.

Ever since the lineup of chefs was introduced to the public at the Media Launch earlier in the week, they have been the talk of the town with many MIGF veterans making their grand returns alongside debutants set to make a big impact. Friday night’s Gala Launch more than met those expectations as the guests were spoilt for choice with exquisite gastronomy on show throughout.

The elite lineup of gastronomes made their way along the High Octane Wind Tunnel and into the Taste MIGF grounds, where the many attractions beckoned, primarily the tantalising tasting portions of cuisines from all over the world.

The VIP guests couldn't resist grabbing a selfie with the High Octane stilt walkers!

Fabulous tasting portions brought food from around the world to the Theatre of Cuisines

The Gala Launch was kicked off in style by superstar magician Dr Moudini, who showcased his breathtaking repertoire of illusionists to rapturous applause. He then performed his greatest trick of the night, pulling back a black cloth on the stage to reveal to the audience Tunku Naquiyuddin and Festival Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day sat atop KTM Superbikes revving their engines.

Dr Moudini pulls off a dazzling illusion

As Moudini's cloth is pulled down, Dato' Steve and Tunku Naquiyuddin are revealed on their bikes

The Organising Chairman welcomes the guests

Dato’ Steve gave a speech welcoming each of the guests and paying tribute to the enduring success of a Festival which dates way back in 2001.

“When we began this Festival 15 years ago, there were barely a dozen premium restaurants in Kuala Lumpur,” said Dato’ Steve.

“Today, Malaysia enjoys one of the most vibrant and dynamic vibrant dining scenes anywhere in the world. For 15 years, the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival showcased the best that our restaurants have to offer and, over time, we saw the nature of these outlets change. Today, the Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival represents the ever-changing landscape as premium cuisine has become available to the wider public.

“We are delighted to bring you 25 of the country’s best restaurants for this year’s Festival with chefs from all over the world working together to wow the Malaysian public and international diners.”

Chef Stefano Criber from Neroteca is introduced

Chef Kouteiba Fakih from Imara Mediterranean Cuisine

Chef Pradeek Kumar from Aliyaa and Dato' Fazley Yaakob from SukaSucre Bistro

And, with that, the chefs themselves made their way onto the stage, each introduced one-by-one as cameras flashed all around from the crowd below.

So began the tasting extravaganza with the guest of honour, Royal Patron and Organising Chairman making a tour of the restaurant stations, sampling the food and chatting with the High Octane Chefs. With the Theatre of Cuisines in full swing, the mood was jovial throughout with good food and drinks being enjoyed by long-time Festival diners and newcomers alike.

Celebrated musician Dennis Lau took to the stage to keep the party atmosphere going, performing some of the electric violin riffs that have made him a household name in Malaysia.

Tunku Naquiyuddin on a tour of the Festival restaurant stations

Some 80 different tasting portions were available to try

Dato' Steve sampling one of the many dishes 

Dennis Lau takes to the stage

Outside the Theatre of Cuisines and also making a big splash at the Gala Launch were the exhibitors of the Epicure International Gourmet Village, LuxuryPlus Showcase and Festival Avenue. These showcases provide a much-loved part of the Taste MIGF experience, offering delightful products from around the world.

Taste MIGF is open from 11am-10pm on Saturday and Sunday, 24 and 25 September, where the High Octane Chefs are cooking up a storm. For more information, visit tastemigf.com or head to facebook.com/migf.com