Mak­ing a stir

Get cook­ing tips and food in­spi­ra­tion on Book­Fest@Malaysia’s Cook-Out Day

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Taste - By ROUWEN LIN star2@thes­tar.com.my

COOK-OUT Day at Book­Fest@ Malaysia is al­ways a crowd favourite – af­ter all, which home­cook wouldn’t want to spend an en­tire day learn­ing valu­able tips from the more ex­pe­ri­enced?

The coun­try’s largest book ex­po­si­tion, which be­gins on Satur­day at the Kuala Lumpur Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, al­ways brings to­gether books and chefs for this one spe­cial day dur­ing its run, giv­ing food­ies the chance to buy a wide range of cook­books as well as learn about di­verse cuisines.

This year, with Book­Fest be­gin­ning this Hari Raya week­end, CookOut Day on June 29 will kick off at 11am with a Hari Raya open house, which will be fol­lowed by cook­ing demon­stra­tions by celebrity chefs Faza­lina Is­mail, Noza­ilina Nordin, and Zubaidah Che Pa.

Then set­tle in for the rest of the day for a whirl­wind of ac­tiv­ity on the stove with Aaron Chen and Yang Lee Keong, Ricky Ng, Clare Ngan, Chan Bee Sim and Pearly Kee.

Here’s a quick in­tro­duc­tion to the chefs who will be guid­ing you on your gas­tro­nom­i­cal jour­ney at Book­Fest@Malaysia.

Faza­lina Is­mail, Norza­ilina Nordin and Zubaidah Che Pa at 11am – The day will kick off on a strong note with th­ese three chefs who are well-known in lo­cal culi­nary cir­cles.

If you need point­ers on pas­try­mak­ing, look no fur­ther than Zubaidah, who has writ­ten sev­eral bilin­gual pas­try cook­books, such as 101 Re­sipi Biskut Klasik, Aneka Je­nis Biskut Raya, Biskut Tra­di­sional, Aneka 40 Je­nis Kek Kukus, and Ja­muan Biskut.

While Faza­lina knows her way

around a va­ri­ety of dishes, her true gas­tro­nom­i­cal love can be traced back to the ten­der age of 12 when she dis­cov­ered the joys of piemak­ing.

And with more than 60 books to her name, both cook­books as well as nov­els, you can be sure Norza­ilina has plenty to say about what goes on in the kitchen! She was also co-host, with Cay Kui­jpers, of real­ity TV show Bake & Sell. Aaron Chen and Yang Lee

Keong, 1pm – The hosts of TV cook­ing show 2 Dudes And A Kitchen will be on hand to show the au­di­ence their take on that Ital­ian clas­sic: a pesto pasta dish.

Chen’s pas­sion for cook­ing be­gan when he went abroad to pur­sue his stud­ies and started ex­per­i­ment­ing with his mother’s recipes; Yang (or Lee, as he is bet­ter known), too, nur­tured his culi­nary love in lo­cal food mar­kets in the United States where he stud­ied.

To­day, the duo hold down “reg­u­lar” jobs – one is a re­cruiter while the other runs his fam­ily prop­erty and re­tail busi­ness – but find time to cook for fam­ily and friends, and yes, even get a book out to­gether (which goes by the same name as their cook­ing show and is pub­lished by MPH Group Pub­lish­ing).

L.J. Loo, 2pm – Me­laka-born Hainanese foodie L.J. Loo (pop­u­larly nick­named “Hunter”) was al­ready in the kitchen when he was just 10 years old, watch­ing his mum cook and even lend­ing a hand to light the char­coal stove. Some of his best child­hood mem­o­ries are of tak­ing over the kitchen when mum left mo­men­tar­ily to an­swer phone calls! Ever since then, he has been fas­ci­nated by ex­per­i­ment­ing with in­gre­di­ents to cre­ate the food of his child­hood.

While his day job in­volves graphic de­sign and pho­tog­ra­phy, al­most ev­ery other minute of his time is spent on his pas­sion for cook­ing spe­cial­ity Hainanese dishes. He is ea­ger to spread aware­ness of this type of cui­sine, ap­pear­ing on TV show Com­fort Food Recipes and shar­ing recipes and de­tailed tips on his Face­book page (face­book.com/ljloo68) as well as through his book, Truly Hainanese De­lights (Seashore Pub­lish­ing).

Clare Ngan, 3pm – Grow­ing up in a small town in Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan, Ngan, the youngest in a fam­ily of eight, was tasked with buy­ing in­gre­di­ents from the mar­ket for her par­ents’ ko­pi­tiam busi­ness as well as for fam­ily meals each day.

In run­ning his ko­pi­tiam busi­ness, her father never skimped on qual­ity and in­sisted on only the fresh­est in­gre­di­ents, mak­ing quite an im­pres­sion on the young Ngan.

When she moved with her sib­lings to Kuala Lumpur, she was the des­ig­nated chef, whip­ping up de­li­cious meals in the kitchen of the rented flat they shared.

To­day, she has a huge col­lec­tion of recipe books, and has started sell­ing some of her food prod­ucts, like veg­e­tar­ian goose and chilli sauce.

Ngan is the au­thor of Re­u­nion Recipes (Seashore Pub­lish­ing) and Elec­tric Pres­sure Cooker Recipes (Seashore Pub­lish­ing), among other books.

Chan Bee Sim, 4pm – Cur­rently work­ing on her fourth bilin­gual cook­book, In­tel­li­gent Elec­tronic Pres­sure Cooker Vol­ume 4, Chan is a fa­mil­iar face on lo­cal TV, a re­cent ap­pear­ance be­ing in an episode of Com­fort Food Recipe.

She ran a bak­ing in­gre­di­ents shop, Ezymix In­gre­di­ents House, for over 15 years and is a guest writer for many pub­li­ca­tions, in­clud­ing news­pa­pers Sin Chew and Guang Ming Daily, and Yum Yum magazine.

She has ded­i­cated the last few years to per­fect­ing recipes for her elec­tronic pres­sure cooker books, but be­fore that, pub­lished books on kuih-muih, pasar malam snacks, and other street food.

Pearly Kee, 5pm – Kee is a fifth-gen­er­a­tion Pe­nang nonya who is a full-time cook­ing teacher and travel guide; she is also an award-win­ning au­thor.

Aside from cook­ing classes, which at­tract stu­dents from all walks of life, she hosts a sup­per club in her home, where guests get to sam­ple nonya favourites in a re­laxed set­ting.

Grow­ing up in a tra­di­tional nonya kitchen, Kee honed her skills un­der the watch­ful eye of men­tor Lim Bian Yam, one of Malaysia’s mas­ter chefs.

Kee is keen to share culi­nary se­crets and tra­di­tions that have been passed down the gen­er­a­tions, her en­thu­si­asm re­flected in A Ny­onya In­her­i­tance (Clar­ity Pub­lish­ing) and Pearly’s Ny­onya Pantry (Clar­ity Pub­lish­ing), which won the Gour­mand In­ter­na­tional award for Best Chi­nese Cook­book.

Book­Fest@Malaysia 2017 will be on daily, from 10am to 10pm, from June 24 to July 2 at the Kuala Lumpur Con­ven­tion Cen­tre. Ad­mis­sion is with pur­chase of the Book­Fest cat­a­logue at RM2.50 per en­try or RM10 for mul­ti­ple en­tries over the nine days. Cat­a­logues are avail­able at all Pop­u­lar and Har­ris book­store out­lets na­tion­wide and will also be sold at the event’s en­trance. En­trance is free for stu­dents who are 18 years old and be­low and for se­nior cit­i­zens aged 60 and above. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit face­book.com/BookFestMalaysia. Star Me­dia Group is a me­dia part­ner of Book­Fest@Malaysia 2017.

(Clock­wise from above) Celebrity chefs Norza­ilina, Faza­lina, and Zubaidah will kick off Cook-Out Day at Book­Fest@ Malaysia next week.

Chen (right) and Yang’s pas­sion for food sparked a culi­nary part­ner­ship that has gen­er­ated a TV show and cook­book.

Kee is keen to share gen­er­a­tions of nonya culi­nary se­crets and tra­di­tions.

Loo will be shar­ing his pas­sion for Hainanese cui­sine.

Ngan is the au­thor of Re­u­nion Recipes and Elec­tric Pres­sure Cooker Recipes.

Chan is a fa­mil­iar face on lo­cal TV, a re­cent ap­pear­ance be­ing in an episode of Com­fort Food Recipes.

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