Surrounded by the Master Chefs of this year’s Festival and under a sea of confetti, MIGF Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin declared MIGF 2013 and the spectacular preview event, Taste MIGF, officially open. Tunku Naquiyuddin has honoured the Festival as its Royal Patron since the Festival’s inception thirteen years ago. And he was the image of pure cool, sporting fashionable Ray Bans, making his declaration much to the delight of the distinguished gathering in the spectacular Theatre of Cuisines. This year’s theme, “Cool Chefs: Cooking with Attitude” was perfectly personified by the said Cool Chefs who flanked the Royal Patron and MIGF Organising Chairman, Dato’ Steve Day.
Just prior to the official launch, the invited guests – and a host of interested onlookers – assembled in the foyer of the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre. There was a marked Royal presence in the guest audience, together with a raft of VVIPs including Mr Trevor Bull, CEO of Zurich Insurance Malaysia Berhad, Mr Paul Ho, Senior Executive Director of Fujifilm, many more of the Capital’s captains of industry, and a who’s who of KL society. All settled, Dato’ Steve then appeared, making his way to the stage, dramatically garbed in a long black trenchcoat and shades, escorted by four stunning chefettes. Standing initially with his back to the audience, Dato’ Steve suddenly spun around, whipped off the shades and started his welcoming remarks. But not before raising more than a laugh or two with a couple of magical tricks that had everyone asking themselves ‘how on earth did he do that?’!
In his speech, and on a more serious note, Dato’ Steve emphasised the importance of the camaraderie between the top F&B market leaders, in this instance the MIGF restaurants – helping to strengthen the industry as a whole. He also thanked all sponsors, including the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Zurich Insurance, Kronenbourg 1664, Land Rover, Fujifilm, U-Mobile, MHTC and Vision Four as well as media partners including Astro, AFC, Melody FM, Seni Jaya, Lite FM, and Vision KL, without all of whom the Festival would not be possible.
Mainly, however, Dato’ Steve exhorted his guests to simply enjoy themselves with the sumptuous offerings laid out in the Theatre of Cuisines, to take full advantage of the Festival proper throughout October and visit as many of the restaurants as possible.
Dato’ Steve and Tunku Naquiyuddin then made their way over to the giant chef hat, and with a swipe of the knife, let the crowds into the Epicure Gourmet Village and then the Theatre of Cuisines. The fun continued as each of the Festival Masterchefs were introduced, one by one on stage, culminating in a spray of pyrotechnics as the culinary stars posed on stage with the Organising Chairman and Royal Patron.
Decked out with 28 of the participating restaurants in this year’s Festival, the atmosphere inside the Theatre was electric as the crowd took their Super Gourmet Safari and made their way around the perimeter, sampling the delicious morsels of food immaculately presented. From the luxurious elegance of The Restaurant, serving up such heavenly delights as salmon viudo, sea bass bouillabaisse and sweet corn veloute, to the blended fusions of Nook, offering up lobster and abalone Sarawak Laksa, smoked scallop with sushi and wagyu beef rending with turmeric coconut rice, the spread on display was tantalising in every respect, with the crowd wolfing down the bite-sized portions as they sauntered around.
As always, the who’s who of KL were in attendance, including members of the media and the foodie blogosphere, who were invited to take a tour of the Theatre of Cuisines before the launch gambit. Situated next to the Theatre was the Epicure Gourmet Village, which was open to the public for a special preview earlier in the day. Over 80 exhibitors of the finest gourmet products, from wines to cigars, from caviar to oysters, from cigars to brandy and much more, were on display inside the Village, including a special promotion by Panasonic with the chance to win a RM10,000 prize.
The night rolled on until the wee hours, with rhythmic beats from the Alma Latina band, punctuated by gorgeous and impressive stilt walkers that made their way around the venue. Taste MIGF continued on for a further two days, with the Theatre of Cuisines and Epicure Gourmet Village, as well as a myriad of cooking classes and workshops taking place on the upper floor of the convention centre.