Houston, we do not have a problem. The 2015 Malaysia International Gourmet Festival has successfully catapulted into the stratosphere following yesterday’s media launch at Berjaya Times Square. The launch began with an exploratory spaceship travelling from Planet Earth to a land far, far away: Planet Epicure. After a safe landing, none other than Dato’ Steve Day, MIGF Organising Chairman, himself emerged from the spaceship-cum-stage unscathed. Surrounded by potentially hostile alien lifeforms, he waved a white Taste MIGF flag and declared, “We’re here in peace.” Then emerged his peace troopers, or this year’s Festival Master Chefs, who were ready and armed to take Planet Epicure by storm. All 25 chefs took to the stage as a stylish video compilation played overhead, introducing each and every one of them to applause and cheers from the audience. “Every year, MIGF is powered by the sheer camaraderie, fun and fellowship of these amazing and talented chefs,” said Dato’ Steve, who also thanked festival partners and committee members in his welcome address. Dato Steve and the Master Chefs were joined on stage by Festival Sponsors including Fifty Six Degrees Managing Director, Kristine Goh and Assistant Director, Tourism Services Division for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Danendran Sugumar for a quick photo session. Other sponsors and media partners of this year’s Festival include Tourism Malaysia, ASTRO and Astro Radio, William Grant & Sons, Seni Jaya, Connexion@Nexus and the Asian Food Network. Then the Master Chefs took to their respective stations for the customary tour of Festival dishes. VIPs and Guest of Honour, Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Naquiah Tuanku Ja’afarsurveyed the fare on display with salivating delight, while the chefs happily chatted with them and answered questions for the media. On the floor, members of the public excitedly took photos with space creatures and galactic showgirls while onlookers from four floors up couldn’t help but peer down onto the commotion at the concourse. The excitement was palpable, especially for two first time festival partners. “I’m always up for a new experience!” said Kristine Goh, FiftySix Degrees Managing Director. “Malaysian culture is communal and by bringing together different talented chefs and enthusiastic foodies together, MIGF pays tribute to this cornerstone of our culture.” “MIGF acts as the best platform for premier restaurants and their staff to showcase their calibre,” said Rowena Ngumbang, UOA Hospitality Sdn Bhd Marketing & Communication Manager. “I’m most looking forward to Taste MIGF!” This year, the two-day food tasting extravaganza that serves as a prelude to the festival will be held for the first time at Berjaya Times Square Hotel Kuala Lumpur on the 5th and 6th of September. It is open to the public and all you need to participate are Gourmet Dollars – the official currency at Taste MIGF – to go on a Super Gourmet Safari and taste sampling portions of the most exquisite cooking Malaysia’s finest have to offer. But that’s not all. At Taste MIGF, you can also expect to experience cooking classes from the Festival Master Chefs, wine appreciation courses and Epicure Lifestyle Workshops on a variety of topics. Meanwhile, the Epicure Gourmet Village offers a showcase of premium products and gourmet delicacies, from artisan chocolates to state-of-the-art kitchen machines. So what are you waiting for! Join us in this year’s food odyssey and start purchasing your Gourmet Dollars here. Check out Media Launch photo gallery.