Headed over to Ruyi & Lyn in Bangsar Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur, on 1 November 2018 for the Awards & Finale Celebration of the 2018 edition of the Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival (MIGF). I was pretty blessed to be hosted by three (3) festival restaurants this year and you can read about them here:
The finale embodied the spirit of muhibah – which is this year’s festival theme – and brought together participating chefs, restaurant teams, VIPs, socialites and notable industry figures to celebrate the culmination of the month-long festival, back this year after taking a break in 2017.
The event was graced by Guest of Honour and long-standing Director General of Tourism Malaysia Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, a steadfast supporter of the Festival since its inception 17 years ago. In that time, MIGF has risen to become the region’s longest-running and most prestigious gastronomy event of its kind, helping to foster an ever more diverse spread of restaurants in Malaysia.
Besides the hardworking Festival Chefs, participating restaurants are honoured, from the menu and marketing down to the quality of service, best value offers and best use of the Festival theme. Categories include the Judge’s Choice, voted by the Festival Advisory Committee; the People’s Choice, decided by guests at Taste MIGF; and the Diners’ Choice, based on scores obtained from those who attended Publicity Dinners throughout the Festival.
Among the restaurants that swept awards were forward-thinking Malaysian restaurant Gen, SukaSucré, Tangerine and fine dining DC Restaurant which collected a whopping 16 awards during part one (1) of the ceremony.
We got to enjoy some delectable canapes created by Chef James Ho and the Ruyi team including nasi lemak sushi, lemongrass lobster skewer, crispy duck roll with hoisin sauce, deep fried crab meat lychee ball, chilled pumpkin cream in shooter glass and much more.
It wasn’t long before the next phase of the evening kicked into gear as dancers took over the stage after which Festival Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar marched down the runway with chefs in tow. United under the MIGF banner, the chefs of various ethnicity together with the VIPs poured the vibrant liquid contents of their cocktail shakers on to a mound of crushed ice, creating the multi-hued muhibah cocktail from which a collective toast was made under a spray of confetti.
“Tonight’s awards are for excellence and in my opinion, they are going to the best restaurants in Malaysia,” said Dato’ Steve Day, leading right into the main event of the night – the presentation of MIGF Premier Awards.
This year includes a number of new special distinctions such as the Chef Personality Award, doled out to those individuals who showed an irrepressible muhibah spirit during MIGF2018. Nero Nero’s Chef Giuseppe Lioce, Samplings On The Fourteenth’s Chef Valmurugan Subramaniam, Spice Garden’s Chef Bharat Batra and SukaSucré’s Dato’ Fazley Yaakob each picked up one.
This year’s coveted Chef Congeniality Award, presented to the most admired and amiable Festival Chef as voted by his peers turned out to be the affable Chef Jun Wong of Kikubari.
A total of seven finalists for the were announced and these were eventually whittled down to two; MIGF Gold Awards for both Asian and Western cuisines, recognising those chefs who showed outstanding and inspirational creativity and professionalism throughout the Festival in each respective cuisine, were given to Lai Po Heen and DC Restaurant respectively.
There could be only one winner the Golden Cauldron Award which honoured the Best All-Round Restaurant in MIGF, and that was DC Restaurant. For the second year running, Darren Chin proudly hoisted the sought-after trophy.
For the full list of this year’s winner or for more info, head over to http://www.migf.com
Photo credits: MIGF and author’s own