FEAST

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - FEAST -

“I THINK MOST PEO­PLE THINK MALAYSIAN FOOD IS STRAIGHT­FOR­WARD, LIKE, ‘THIS IS JUST A RENDANG, AND THIS IS JUST A NASI LE­MAK’. WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS IN­COR­PO­RATE ALL THESE IN­GRE­DI­ENTS INTO CUI­SINE AND BRING IT TO A DIF­FER­ENT LEVEL, WITH PLAT­ING AND SO ON. WE WANT TO GIVE (MALAYSIAN CUI­SINE AND PRO­DUCE) A RANGE.”

Malaysia: A land of many gifts, flora and fauna as rich and di­verse as the peo­ple who in­habit it. From north to south to east to west, ours is a king­dom racked with rain, sun, and boun­ti­ful har­vests. What bet­ter time than the month of Au­gust to cel­e­brate the fruit of our earth?

Ask any lo­cal what they know about lo­cal pro­duce, and the an­swer will in­vari­ably re­volve around the boun­ties of our iconic Cameron High­lands. A quick walk and a cur­sory glance along the gro­cery aisles of su­per­mar­kets shows an as­sort­ment of goods, from lus­cious pep­pers to herbs and to­ma­toes so red and ripe, they may well have come all the way from Roma it­self. Mush­rooms and sal­ads and var­i­ous other pro­duce fea­ture in abun­dance, and it’s then that the ‘ah ha!’ mo­ment pre­sents it­self.

Malaysia is boun­ti­ful, in­deed. Recog­nis­ing this and march­ing for­ward in an at­tempt to show­case the many amaz­ing in­gre­di­ents and pro­duce avail­able to us, Chef Matt of Cu­rate at Four Sea­sons Kuala Lumpur walks us through the up­com­ing Boun­ti­ful Malaysia pro­mo­tion that will soon be avail­able for sam­pling at the down­town ho­tel. “We’re choos­ing to fo­cus on lo­cal pro­duce, pay­ing due re­spect to lo­cal farm­ers and what they are do­ing. Ninety nine per­cent of this menu will have lo­cal homegrown Malaysian prod­ucts.”

From Saba­han lob­ster to caviar farmed at Tan­jung Malim, to a Mozart-in­doc­tri­nated lacto chicken farmed sus­tain­ably in Jo­hor and Sarawakian pineapple, the pos­si­bil­i­ties seem all but end­less. “These are the things that have unique sto­ries,” Chef Matt shares. And these, as it were, are the sto­ries that will pre­vail in the dishes put forth by the Cu­rate team.

Sus­tain­abil­ity plays an im­por­tant role in the se­lec­tion at Cu­rate. As Chef Matt shares: “We use lo­cal pro­duce be­cause we want to en­sure sus­tain­abil­ity and qual­ity, and there’s no short­age of sup­ply.” It’s cer­tainly a green way for­ward, con­sid­er­ing the in­creas­ing im­por­tance placed upon re­spon­si­ble food sourc­ing and din­ing; when eat­ing lo­cal, one low­ers their car­bon foot­print by quite a lot, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously en­sur­ing the pros­per­ing of their neigh­bours and coun­try­men. “We can get lo­cal pro­duce all the time.”

While Boun­ti­ful Malaysia is only set to run be­tween Au­gust and Septem­ber, Chef Matt is op­ti­mistic that it’s a step­ping stone for­ward to big­ger and bet­ter things. Chef Matt adds: “Us­ing lo­cal pro­duce, we can help our lo­cal pro­duc­ers to grow and show­case lo­cal pro­duce at an­other level.” And maybe, in due time, Malaysia will be­come known for more than our spiny, spe­cial duri­ans.

Now wouldn’t that be a sight?

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