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After ten years of updating this site, I am going to finally be able to meet my number one most respected food personality in Malaysia – Chef Wan!

To me, there’s no other single person who has contributed more in bringing Malaysian food to the world, I still vividly remember one day many years ago at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City when I switched on the TV and saw a program of Chef Wan being broadcast in a foreign country. Totally awesome, and I would have never thought that one day I may be on the same panel as him in a contest.

I’m going to tell my grandchildren about this one day…


the article above is published in full here

Anyway, this is about The Star R.AGE’s Food Fight, a competition to find the next food celebrity in Malaysia. Winner will get a column in The Star, a featured blog on R.AGE (rage.com.my), an online video series produced by R.AGE TV, culinary workshops by Le Cordon Bleu as well as cash and other prizes.

The competition is as such:

  • One video submission A cooking segment (max. 3 minutes) where participants prepare a recipe using palm oil, promoted as a “truly Malaysian ingredient”, and mention some of its benefits. Benefits of palm oil will be published on the contest microsite. Judging will focus more on their on­camera personality and presentation skills.
  • One blogpost An article complete with photos (and any other media, if desired), to be uploaded to a dedicated R.AGE Food Fight page.

 

5 Finalists will be shorst listed by the judges by 3rd Sept and will then undergo training at Le Cordon Bleu.

On the 26th of September, the finalists will have masterclasses conducted by Chef Wan, Chef Darren Chin, Chef Liang, and yours truly.

The finale will be on Oct 3rd, it’ll be exciting! Can’t wait.

p/s: Thanks Michael!

It is 2014, the year of FIFA World Cup. The good thing – awesome football action participated by 32 countries in the world. The not so great thing – you have to stay up all night catching the best actions. The greatest thing – you can actually win a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and watch the game in person!

win a trip to world cup 2014

Now personally I’ve gone through a lot of online competitions, many of them requires a hand eye coordination practise that you’ll never use again, or requires taking photos of yourself in silly costume/situations/poses that you might not want anyone else to see 5 years later.

But this one, is different.VISA’s new 2014 FIFA World Cup Financial football game is something else altogether. It is actually a game that is educational, fun, and rewarding all at the same time.

Before we start, lets ask the most important question.

Visa Financial prizes

So what you can stand to win? That’s the ultimate question isn’t it?

Well, here’s what the Grand Prize includes:

  • round-trip coach class air transportation between Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • participation in a four-day, three-night hospitality program
  • two category two tickets to see a FIFA World Cup in Brazil
  • one US$300 Visa prepaid money card.

The 2nd to 5th placed finalists will each win Sony and Adidas merchandise.

The 6th to 10th placed finalists will each win an Adidas merchandise pack.

On top of that, the entry with the highest score each week will win an BSN Premium Savings certificate (BSN Sijil Simpanan Premium) worth RM1,000.

I hope I captured your attention.

The game itself is fairly straight forward, and I think, rather quite ingenious.

2014 FIFA World Cup Financial football game

  • step 1: visit http://bit.ly/VisaFFMY
  • step 2: register and login
  • step 3: click on “Play The Game” and select “Single Player”
  • step 4: ready to start the game
  • step 5: select question difficulty: Hard, Medium, or Easy
  • step 6: answer the questions correctly to advance
  • step 7: score to win
  • step 8: post your score

2014 FIFA World Cup Financial football game

I actually learned quite a lot from the questions, such as the meaning of being a “good credit risk”, or how to minimize interests while paying down multiple credits, just to name two.

There’s also a time factor in this game, the faster you answer, the more goals you can score, and thus, more points!

Here’s the scoring matrix:

Financial Football scoring matrix

The contest is on-going and will last until 16 April 2014, so start playing now! The top ten scorers will be invited to compete at the Grand Final on 23 April for a chance to win the trip to Brazil.

To learn more about personal finance, which not only will help you score better in this game, but most importantly, managing your money better in real life, VISA partners with consumer advocates, educators, and financial institutions to develop the Practical Money Skills program.

Check out practicalmoneyskills.com and whatsmyscore.org where you can find great educational resources related to the topic that will help increase your knowledge and awareness, and perhaps send you on a trip to Brazil!

So,  head to http://bit.ly/VisaFFMY and play the game today!

Fellow bloggers, here’s a chance to win something really significant – a trip to London during the Summer Olympics!

How? Be hand picked by a panel of celebrity judges to become a Samsung Global Blogger, and you will find yourself in London for the biggest show on earth, discovering what the city has to offer.

Olympics samsung

But exactly how?

Well, it is fairly simple, submit a 30 second video in English of you telling us why you would be great at hunting out the best stories London has to tell during The Olympics. The judges will be looking for the following qualities:

  • Confidence and energy in front of the camera
  • A passion for your subject matter
  • Imagination and originality
  • A good sense of humour
  • A social butterfly – do you use Twitter? Or talk to the world on your own blog?
  • The ability to tell a story well through video and the written word

That isn’t so difficult now is it? (I think I should come up with one myself soon here!)

Incidentally, today is exactly 100 days before the start of the Olympics!

Go to samsungglobalblogger.my.msn.com and find out everything you need to know about how to become a Samsung Global Blogger. There are also tips on making great videos as well. If you love to make videos and share what’s going on over social media, you need to participate in this.

And here’s what Jamie Oliver has to say:

The deadline for audition videos is before midnight GMT on April 29th. The competition is open to those who are from UK, France, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Thailand

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a glass of Strongbow might put the doctor out of business for at least a month.

Strongbow, premium cider

While the carbonated and golden apparence of Strongbow might deceive some as just another premium beer, this golden goodness is actually made from 50 different types of apple juice, fermented of course. The reason for these many types of apple is to achieve a taste that guarantee it’s premium quality.

Mom says drinking juice is good, so why not 50 in 1, right?

Strongbow comes in draught (check location here) as well as in bottles (best enjoy over ice)

Baby Tonga

When it comes the word premium and sports, nothing quite represent those two words closer than sailing, and it is in this prestigious sports that Strongbow partners with Baby Tonga – a Beneteau 53f5 owned by Antony Hastings.

Baby Tonga is returning this year to the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta (RMSIR) in an attempt to capture her third victory at the race – a hattrick.

Along with Sydney to Hobart and the Rolex China Sea Race, RMSIR is the only South East Asia regatta recognised by the prestigious London based Royal Ocean Racing Club. This isn’t some small race.

So you might ask, what does Baby Tonga and the RMSIR has to do with you, my dear readers?

Well, more about that later, but first here are some facts about Baby Tonga.

  • Baby Tonga is a collaboration between Bruce Farr and Pinafarina – the Italian design company behind the likes of Ferrari and Mesarati
  • at 53 feet, she is smaller than some yachts in her class, but she is nimble and quick
  • she is built for speed, one of the fastest cruising sailboat of similar waterline length
  • she has 3 fully airconditioned cabin with 3 toilets and showers, fully equipped for a holiday on sea
  • last but not least, Baby Tonga is well stocked with Strongbow for her crew, constant supply of UK’s number one selling cider

baby tonga interior

This yacht is the epitome of power and grace, and the reason this might interest you is that you (and maybe me?) has a chance to win a cruise aboard Baby Tonga by participating in this Facebook game on Strongbow Malaysia’s facebook

Access the facebook game here, then key in your information and start playing.

The game is pretty straight forward, sail as fast as you can with arrow keys towards the finishing point, then answer 3 trivia questions for added bonus. My lousy first attempt was over one minute, but that time will be cut short by a lot, look out!

The prizes:

  • Grand Prizes x 3 – a party cruise with 2 friends on Baby Tonga and more
  • Weekly Prizes x 4 – Strongbow t-shirt & landyard
The game is on from 14th Nov till 9th Dec, 2011.

Baby Tonga Sunset

I don’t know about you, but a chance to be on this brilliant sail boat, that’s gotta be a golden opportunity that only comes very very rarely.

I’ve personally never sailed before, but Haze did (on her blog post here), and according to her it was an experience of a life time, and that wasn’t on a luxury speedster like Baby Tonga.

Imagine sitting on the deck on this beautiful boat while the sun is setting, or standing at the very front of Baby Tonga feeling the wind blow on your face while the sail boat is cutting through water. That would be an awesome feeling. I want to be on it!

Good luck folks, and bring your anti seasick pill cos we’re not gonna waste any of these awesome cider aboard Baby Tonga.


Strongbow at Royal Oak, Jaya One

In the mean time, I shall enjoy a pint of Strongbow. 😀

Over the first three weeks of October, I was involved in the Malaysia’s First Ever Blogger MasterChef Challenge, an event by Astro Ria to promote MasteChef Malaysia that is currently aired on Astro Ria channel 104.

For those who are in the dark all these while, MasterChef is a cooking reality show originally started in UK and now found its way to a few dozen countries, including Malaysia! The competition only allows amateur cooks to compete, the participants are everyday people who shares a passion for cooking.

You can catch MasterChef Malaysia on Astro Ria, the details as follow:

  • MasterChef TX will be starting from 22nd October 2011, every Saturday – Wednesday, 9.00pm. Master Class will be on every Friday, 9.00pm.

blogger masterchef challenge

The Blogger MasterChef event had 40 participants broken into 2 sessions, with the top 5 from each session compete at the final. Together with a professional chef (Chef Ryan Khang) and a representative from Astro Ria (Azlin Reza Azmi), yours truly was also chosen as one of the judges in this competition.

While the TV version has amateur cooks participating in it. Participants from this version are all bloggers.

GROUP 1 – 1/10/2011 – The Cooking House

The ingredients for the first 20 participants was chicken breast. Participants were given 2 slabs of chicken breast, a variety of ingredients, and condiments, a frying pan, and one hour to work with.

Other than the frying pan, there were also oven and microwave. There was no limit in the number of ingredients one can use either.

The above are just four of the 20 dishes, and to be honest I was very impressed. Many of these dishes not only tasted good, they look quite awesome too.

There were dishes with distinctive Malaysian taste, while others looked like something out of a high class restaurant. Chicken breast isn’t one of my favorite, but I took a few extra servings from some of these dishes.

Scoring on the invention test (the dish) was separated into 2 categories – maximum of 10 points for presentation, and another 10 for taste. For the skill test, Chef Ryan showed the contestants the proper way to make a poached egg (the instructions here), and another maximum of 10 points can be obtained.

This was my first stint as a judge in any competition, and short listing the top 5 from a group of 20 turned out to be a tougher job than I imagined, after tallying and some deliberation, we finally got it. It wasn’t an easy decision.

GROUP 2 – 8/10/2011 – The Cooking House

For the second group of 20 participants, instead of chicken breast, the main ingredient was fresh prawns.

While prawns are faster to cook and perhaps easier to season, the participants had to time their dish properly to ensure that the seafood does not stay on the table for too long before served.

Again, there were a lot of different creative ideas exhibited in this round. My particular favorites being the prawns lollipop on pineapple (pic above, bottom right corner) and the lemongrass prawn paste satay. Good stuff!

Raqim Ahmad from Astro Ria replaced Azlin as the judge in this round, after another poached egg skills test, we arrived at the final 5 contestants for the final round.

FINAL – 15/10/2011 – SACC Mall, Shah Alam

The final for the First Ever Blogger MasterChef was a much bigger deal, the venue was at the entrance of SACC Mall in Shah Alam. A stage was set up with 2 rows of temporary “kitchen” prepared for our 10 short listed contestants, and there was also the famous host, Zainal Alam Kadir from Astro emceeing for the event.

I think the invention challenge of the day threw a lot of contestants off a little, the content of the Mystery Box was  none other than the one ingredient most of us had never handled before – Avocado.

Personally I’ve only had avocado in sushi and in Carl’s Junior’s burger (guacamole sauce). If I was competing, I’d probably had to google for a recipe (cheating already, hahaha)

The format of the competition was also slightly different, while there were many different condiments and secondary ingredients to choose from in the first two rounds, there were only 20 different ingredients/condiments in which each contestants was only allowed to choose 10 items within 30 seconds.

The limitation though, brought the best out of the participants.

Check out some of the dishes that the contestants managed to conjure up with. On the top left we have something that looks like a salad but with pancake ribbon (ultimately the winning dish), on the top right there’s the avocado “sushi” using egg as the skin and bread as the “rice”. It was another exhibition of creativity and cooking skills.

For the skill test, Chef Kerlley (replacing Chef Ryan) demonstrated a professional way to dice onion, and the contestants were given 15 onions each to see how many they could dice up in 10 minutes. At the end, no one managed to dice more than 3-4 onions, and 6 of the 10 contestants somehow managed to cut their fingers with the supplied ceramic knife.

I suppose this is to show that these are all amateur cooks, no? 😀

After some deliberation and tallying up the score, Yip Wan Yee was crowned the winner of the First Ever Blogger MasterChef Challenge, and she deserved it! To me her dish was not only creative, but nicely presented and tasted rather good too.

Wawa was the first runner up with her Mini Roti Puri filled with Avocado Custard on top of Creme Patissiere and top with Chocolate Ganache, not because of the longest dish name but for her daring attempt in the only pastry dish of the day, and it worked.

Mohd Zaid walked away with the best MasterChef Buzz blogger award, while the rest of the contestants received consolation prizes.

It was a pretty sweet competition, and really showcase the ability of so many young Malaysians’ cooking prowess. Now let me get back to the kitchen!