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