Visitors to Taste MIGF this year were offered an immersive experience in the Macao Suite courtesy of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), which transformed a room in the LuxuryPlus Showcase for the second year running.
Highlighting Macao’s new designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, MGTO went all out in showcasing the city’s culinary heritage by flying in Chef Sandra Niza Barros, a third generation chef born and raised in Macao, and owner of Café SAB 8.
Chef Sandra Niza Barros is passionate about preserving Macao’s culinary heritage
The Macao Suite
A specialist in contemporary Macanese cuisine, the bubbly chef aso led packed out cooking workshops on both days of Taste MIGF and in the Macao Suite, a mini-buffet of her delicious creations including Bacalhau tart, Bicho Bicho and Orange Roll made with fresh orange juice drew a steady stream of foodies. More mouthwatering Macanese dishes could be seen on the special 3D food projection showcase which was a treat for the eyes.
Chef Sandra presented Macanese cooking classes to an audience-packed studio kitchen during the Taste MIGF weekend
A corner of the Suite was dedicated to the 65th Macau Grand Prix this November, with a pair of racing simulators on heavy rotation throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, visitors could also find out more about the many events in the city including the Macao International Parade, International Film Festival & Awards • Macao, and the Macao Light Festival.
Look out for more collaborations and gastronomic happenings from Macao as it rolls out plans to fortify the city’s cultural legacy through gastronomy!
Visitors couldn’t wait to have a go on the racing simulators at the Macao Suite
Chef Exchange Dinner
Preceding the gastronomic weekend, Chef Sandra crafted a unique menu with Chef Valmurugan Subramaniam of Samplings On The Fourteenth, combining Malaysian and Macanese fare with dishes such as Portuguese squid salad, kale soup, Macao garlic prawn and the iconic Serradura – sawdust pudding.
Chef Valmurugan Subramaniam and Chef Sandra collaborated for a unique Malaysian-Macanese menu
Portuguese Squid Salad
Available at Samplings’ as part of the Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival, those who chose this menu were also in the running to win a holiday to Macao!
Having gained much of her culinary intrigue from her mother and grandmother, Chef Sandra remembers fondly her time in the kitchen with these two mentors who taught her the first dish she ever learned to make: soya sauce with fried rice and eggs.
“Food was always a big part of our lives and observing my mother cook, following her to the market and just watching people light up when they ate her food – that was a big impetus for me to go down that career path,” she says as she remembers the past fondly.
Nowadays she tries to utilise everything under the Macanese culinary umbrella, and create something novel to help push the cuisine forward while retaining its heritage. Her aim is to put a fresh spin on Macanese cuisine to help put it back into the limelight.
“I want young people to come into my restaurant and leave thinking that Macanese cuisine can be fun and delicious and not outdated fare” says the Chef, who talks passionately about everything the cuisine has to offer.
When it comes to Macao’s new badge as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, she’s excited about the prospect of spreading true Macanese cuisine across the world as few have heard, much less tasted it. As part of the chef exchange programmes being rolled out over the next four years, she made her presence felt here in Malaysia by doing just that.