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Growing up, I have always have a keen interest in watching cooking shows and cooking competitions, and among the personalities I was familiar with on TV, Chef Wan has always stood out as the one true Malaysian hero who tirelessly promote Malaysian cuisine. I mean, there are plenty chefs out there who are good at various types of international food, but how many of them can truly represent Malaysia on the international level?

Well, on the 31st of October, 2015, I got the honor of working with the one and only Chef Wan on the same panel of judges in The Star R.AGE’s first ever Food Fight. It was a bit of a dream came true moment for me, a tick off the bucket list that I never even dared pen in.

Rage Food Fight, published on 17/11/2015
R.AGE Food Fight finale, published on 17/11/2015

The article of the finale came out on the newspaper on the 17/11/2015, if you have a copy at hand, do read, otherwise head to http://rage.com.my/foodfight for the articles online.

Over here I just want to jot down the experience I had on the event, just so that I can re-read this space in years to come.

the dishes prepared by the contestants
the dishes prepared by the contestants

The competition was fairly straight forward, each contestants had some 15 minutes to present their food and show it to the judges. After that we were served the very same dishes and comment on them.

Judging was based on a mixture of “personality”, taste, and presentation.

The dishes created by the contestants were actually pretty interesting:

  • Nurilkarim Razha – Baked fish with prawn otak-otak mousseline served with ulam pesto and paku salad
  • Ahong Yeang – Roasted chicken with coconut gravy, served with a side of ulam rice and long beans and offals
  • Li-Anne Kuek – Pumpkin & walnut loaf with white chocolate & pumpkin ganache, honeycomb, yogurt sorbet & milk crumb
  • Kelly Siew – Garlic prawn tart with pineapple and tomato chutney
  • Ashley Pan – Tuna and watermelon tartare served with basil ice cream

The presentations were very good, and the taste department too mostly quite interesting. My favorite was the blend of local ingredients with modern touch in Nuril’s dish, with Ahong’s chicken in close second. As for the delivery, Ahong was the most entertaining, with Li-Anne sounding most professional, and Nuril being most balanced.

Nuril was crowned as the winner
Nuril was crowned as the winner

At the end, after tallying up the score sheet with a bit of final discussions among the judges, Nuril emerged as the first Food Fighter by unanimous decision.

He was basically the “complete package” and the one who did the best on the day overall. I was also happy that a fellow Penangite took the crown as well, and it was well deserved.

what an honor to work alongside my hero in Malaysian cuisine - Chef Wan
what an honor to work alongside my hero in Malaysian cuisine – Chef Wan

It was an interesting experience for me being on a panel with fellow judges whom all have much higher qualifications in doing this than me. Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia master chef Rodolphe Onno was very professional and direct, Chef Tan Chung Liang, a new comer in the scene had proper professional training, Darren Chin, owner of the highly-rated DC Restaurant definitely had a taste for fine foods, and of course, Chef Wan needs no introduction.

Thank you, The Star, for the opportunity.

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!

The article on Oriental Daily for  NTV7 Foodie Blogger (愛食客) TV program is finally out last Wednesday (21/5/2014). 

The article is of course, all about Ernest Chong (张顺源), the host of the TV program, while I play second fiddle as the invited guest of the day. This was my first time on a Chinese newspaper, which means I’ve now appeared in newspaper articles of all three major languages, woohoo!

Oriental Daily article on NTV7 Foodie Blogger TV program
Oriental Daily article on NTV7 Foodie Blogger TV program

For the article, we went to the Taman Connaught Pasar Malam for 3 challenges whereby we, with the help of the hawker stall operator, come up with our own preparation of the food, then serve it to the public to get votes. The first challenge was the stinky tofu, follow by salted pau and potted ice cream.

salted fish pau challenge
salted fish pau challenge

Whenever someone votes for either of us, we get a little NTV7 sticker. At the end I collected 14 to Ernest’s 12 or 13 stickers, but he won the 1st and 3rd challenges while I only came up top for the sauce I made for salted pau. I had the majority votes, I guess, but like general elections in Malaysia, it’s the number of seats won that matters.

No prize anyway, hahaha, it was all fun!

Foodie Blogger airs on Thursday 10pm, I’m the guest on the segment that features KL hawker foods that should be aired in a few weeks.

potted ice cream challenge
potted ice cream challenge

Here’s the full article copied from Oriental Daily. Interestingly, the writer, the artist, and myself all shared the same surname 张.

《爱食客》街头拉票嚇路人 张顺源最怕臭豆腐

娱乐2014年5月20日

张心怡 报导

(蕉赖20日讯)张顺源拋身夜市当「爱食客」,豁出去地亏本设计「双层花盆蛋糕冰淇淋」之余,直接在街头拉客投票测人气,还拉拢好友「作弊」为他增加同情票。

ntv7美食节目《爱食客》,由第一届金视奖最佳男配角张顺源取代视帝庄可比,担任新一季主持人。首次主持美食节目的他,在长达12集的第2季节目中,將与不同的部落客一同品嚐部落客们推荐的美食料理。配合节目,他找来雪隆区的搭档部落客张家勇,骑重机进击蕉赖康乐夜市,並以3种夜市食物进行游戏,经现场民眾投票决定谁是贏家。

第2季《爱食客》每逢星期四晚上11时於ntv7播出。

第1站:臭味相投臭豆腐(张顺源胜)

远远就闻到臭豆腐的味道,让访问这天拍戏拍到凌晨5时、没睡多久即赶往记者会接受访问的张顺源,一双本要塌下的眼皮瞬间睁开,眉头皱成了一团。「我平时真的不碰臭豆腐。」话虽如此,他和部落客还是乖乖戴上透明塑料手套,亲自下锅炸臭豆腐。突然听到老板说「切了豆腐后,手会有点酵水味」后,2人开始互相推脱,谁该先开始切浸了2天、发酵2週的臭豆腐。憋著呼吸把臭豆腐下锅后,2人要准备为比赛的臭豆腐调製「酱料」。

张顺源选了薑片、柠檬和辣椒粉,部落客选了芥末、辣椒粉和千岛酱。2人信心满满地將混在一起的酱料,倒在炸好的臭豆腐上,3位结伴逛夜市、打算初次尝试臭豆腐的女孩们,就这样成了他们的实验品。结果由张顺源以2票获胜,原因是选用的酱料调配遮盖了臭豆腐的味道,让第一次尝试吃臭豆腐的民眾觉得还不错。

至於部落客所得的1票也非同情分,民眾表示:「就是有保留了原味的臭。」

第2站:皇帝爱吃咸鱼包(部落客胜)

无线剧《食为奴》中,康熙皇帝爱吃的咸鱼包来到康乐夜市,同样吸引了络绎不绝的人潮。这回张顺源挑战加入千岛酱、辣椒粉与芥末的酱料,败给部落客准备的千岛酱+辣椒粉+酱油。原因是张顺源准备的酱料太咸了,配上原本的咸鱼包,等於「咸上加咸」。

第3站:花盆蛋糕冰淇淋(张顺源胜)

来到这站,2人必须向年仅20岁的小老板学习花盆蛋糕冰淇淋的製作步骤。本该是蛋糕和雪糕一层层铺上,但2人来到最后一关,亏本式地加料,2大勺的雪糕加上2层蛋糕,若是这样以原价售卖的花,必定亏本。张顺源为自己设计的花盆蛋糕冰淇淋取名「孤独残风中的败柳」,原因是叠得太高,时间拖得太久,雪糕都融的七七八八了。部落客左铺巧克力,右铺芝士的「鸳鸯花盆」,名字不错,卖相不受落。加上张顺源的好友凑巧地来逛夜市,隔壁算命摊的老板娘认出张顺源后,更是落力为他拉人气,这一回合若捨张顺源,还能取谁呢?

map to Taman Connaught Pasar Malam

Address:
Taman Connaught Pasar Malam
Connaught Highway & Jalan Pantas
Cheras, Selangor
GPS3.081564, 101.734068
Hours: Every Wednesday Evening

I was checking comments on the blog as usual last Sunday and came across these two comments:

By chee hong on Oct 5, 2008 | Reply

hey KY , congrats la dude! i saw this blog post in on of the Star’s article this morning ..

By AkiraSabine on Oct 5, 2008 | Reply

Flipping through The Star as usual on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I happened to see a familiar name, KY! haha. “Hey, I read his blog” was my first reaction. Congrats!

I then quickly searched online and sure enough I found this article on the Sunday Star Metro compiled by Renita Che Wah, a name I could not recall.

blog post on the star
my post appeared on the Star

The article (full screenshot) is made up of 3 sentences by the journalist, followed by 15 short paragraphs quoted directly from the Pantai Seafood entry I wrote on the 26th of May September.

Obviously I was feeling pretty proud to be noticed by the most read English dailies and have the paper used my blog post heavily in an article, I went out and bought a copy of the paper for save keeping too.

At the same time, however, I do find it a little odd that I was never informed prior to the blog being quoted. No phone call, email, or even a comment left on the blog. Pictures were taken directly from the blog and edited without my knowledge either.

To be fair, a previous blog post of mine on Kampung Atap Curry Fish Head was also used by the Star Metro over a year ago (link here), and the journalist did communicate with me prior to publishing. The difference is, this time around I was kinda caught by surprise.

I think the Star should consider giving me a weekly column instead. What do you make of this?

KY on New Straits TimeIt’s been a while I bought newspaper, but I couldn’t help myself but to get yesterday’s version of New Sunday Times. Unlike the “celebrity bloggers” who appear on printed media every other week, this is something a bit rarer for me. If you haven’t check it out, here goes!

KY on newspaper
best!

Here is the link to the full article online, you can also click on the image on the right for a screen captured version. This article is in conjunction with my involvement in the Nokia Nseries Soul of the Night project.

To be fair, I was on Kosmo newspaper a couple years back with an interview about my koi pond, and another article on NST that has something to do with the now defunct monsterblog project. Oh, not to forget a mention on Star Metro about an article regarding the local hawker scene.

Keep them coming, keep them coming. =D