A Meeting Of Minds
The first major gathering of this year’s Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival saw industry leaders gather at Marble 8 for the traditional Royal Patron’s luncheon. The Guest of Honour was of course Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar, the Royal Patron himself who has stood in the role since the first Festival in 2001.
Tunku Dato’ Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, Dato’ Steve Day, Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar and Dato’ Shamsul Falak
Old friends warmly greeted each other and business cards were exchanged as new faces met for the first time in festival restaurant Marble 8. Welcoming guests with Tunku Naquiyuddin was Festival Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day, and AsiaReach Events Managing Director Datin Su Wai Fun.
Among the guests were representatives from this year’s sponsors, GMs of participating hotels, owners of stand-alone restaurants and members of the Festival Advisory Committee, including Tunku Dato’ Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, Dato’Seri Farah Khan, Datuk Seri Dr Victor Wee, Dato’ Johari Abas and Datin Winnie Sophia Low among others.
From the sponsors, attendees included Boost CEO Chris Tiffin, Asian Tigers Mobility Country Manager Peter Karlsson, Standard Chartered Bank Country Head, Retail Banking Aaron Loo, Volvo Car Malaysia Marketing and PR Director Rema Chetty and PICO Sales Director Mr Moo.
(From L-R) Dr Julianne Huh, Datin Sainy Chun and Dato’ Johari Abas
As guests sat down for the sumptuous meal – which included a cream of porcini mushroom soup, a choice between braised wagyu beef cheeks or roasted salmon and a sweet ending of panna cotta – Dato’ Steve gave a short welcome speech profiling this year’s Festival and its theme ‘Muhibah Chefs! –Good Food Brings Us Together!’.
“There is no such thing as too many chefs spoiling the broth when it comes to MIGF. All the chefs work together for the common good and every diner benefits. After all, nothing connects people better than food and the Festival theme reflects this too,” he said, while throwing in a few food jokes that were met with chuckles.
Tunku Naquiyuddin also rose from his seat to address the crowd, delivering one of his customary, eloquent speeches. “We have French restaurants, Italian, Korean, Sri Lankan… we have the whole gamut really and this is what the Festival is all about,” he said as he fondly remembered past festivals.
Indeed, this year’s line-up contains a diverse selection of restaurants with exciting new entrants such as the Gen 根 from Penang, Kikubari, Fellini Ristorante & Café and Nulnu Restaurant among others.
Meanwhile, returning to the fold is Golden Cauldron winner DC Restaurant, as well as veterans like 2OX French Bistro, Marini’s on 57, Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar and Samplings on the Fourteenth Restaurant. Make sure to check out the full list of restaurant on our website!
Nana Chin, Darren Chin, Dato’ Seri Dr Farah Khan and Datin Su Wai Fun
1st Marketing Meeting
The luncheon was followed by this year’s first Marketing Meeting which saw representatives from all participating restaurants as well as sponsors and partners gather at the Quill City Mall Convention Centre.
Led by Dato’ Steve Day, the meeting covered the finer points of the Festival including important dates, goals, key strategies, and marketing initiatives among other points.
A section of the meeting was devoted to Taste MIGF, the preview event to the month-long festival, set to take place on 1 and 2 September. This year’s event will once again take place in the Berjaya Times Square Hotel, where the 14th floor will be transformed into a gastronomic carnival reflecting this year’s theme: ‘Muhibah Chefs – Good Food Brings Us Together’.
Before the meeting concluded, Partnership Lead at Boost Yenny Lee gave a detailed presentation on this year’s Official E-Wallet sponsor, Boost, outlining the brand’s operations and growth over the last few years, as well as how the cashless system will be implemented in this year’s Festival.
Yenny Lee giving a presentation on Boost
As the meeting drew to an end, MIGF representatives went around the room to confirm restaurant photoshoots which will be taking place over the next few weeks. For sneak peaks at menus and chefs in action, check out our Instagram and Facebook feeds. Meanwhile, mark your diaries for September 1 and 2 for Taste MIGF!