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Chef: Stefano Maccagno

avanti italian-aMeriCan ristorante
Sunway Resort Hotel
Cuisine: Italian-American
Festival reservations: 03–7492 8006

Hailing from the northern region of Piedmont in italy, Avanti’s Chef de Cuisine, Stefano Maccagno, was born into the restaurant and hotel business. For his family, good meals were the order of the day, every day as Stefano helped his grandmother with meal preparations from a very young age—at the same time nurturing a burgeoning passion for cooking. After obtaining his professional qualification as a chef, Stefano embarked on a colourful career that has seen him working in restaurants all over Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Speaking with a clear love for his profession, Stefano tells us what he likes best about his job: “it’s not a 9 to 5 job, it’s very hands on. Every day is different; every day there’s a new challenge. Being a chef requires quick thinking to solve problems and sometimes inventing something new on the spot!”

Favourite ingredient: Fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, etc)
Most used utensil: Knives and pots
Inspiration: Grandmother’s passion for cooking
Influence: Chef Le Bouech in Geneva, his tenure in Restaurant La terrazza at Hotel Eden, Rome

Chef: Marinaldo Monterio Pereira

Bossa nova
Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Brazilian
Festival reservations: 03–2711 1199
Chef Marinaldo Monterio Pereira has more than 10 years experience as a passador in Churrascaria o’ Gaucho, Brazil. Observing an old passador in
his home country fascinated Marinaldo, inspiring him to pursue it as a career. Given the opportunity to learn, Marinaldo quickly excelled in the art of marinating and grilling the meat to perfection, as well as carving and serving. After stints in various restaurants around Brazil, Marinaldo’s career path into Asia began at negara on Claymore, Singapore, and now, Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur. this is his first participation in MiGF.

Favourite ingredient: Cumin
Most used utensil: Skewers
Inspiration: Guest satisfaction
Influence: Chef Amuse Jorge Gimarais,
Brazilian chef
Years in the kitchen: 10

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Chef: Jochen Kern

Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Swiss
Festival reservations: 03–2161 777

‘Want to see my Enten Presse?’ jokes Chef Jochen Kern and proceeds to show a shiny, medieval looking contraption on display in the corner of the restaurant. ‘it’s a duck press and the only one in Kuala Lumpur, possibly in all Malaysia!’ Bubbly and larger-than-life, Chef Kern’s loud bellowing laugh is very contagious, especially to his staff. But when it comes to the culinary trade, his passion for his profession is no laughing matter. Chef Jochen earned the professional title ‘Master of trade’, among many other prestigious titles, that certifies him to be a master instructor of culinary arts and entitles him to test and certify chefs of various culinary degrees. Chef Kern is living every chef’s dream as he has provided gastronomic specialties for a long list of renowned celebrities and politicians alike such as Queen Elizabeth ii, President Clinton, the late President Saddam Hussein, tun Dr Mahathir and the Sultan of Brunei and Family, just to name a few.

Favourite ingredient: Seafood
Most used utensil: Cold-cut pocket knife
Inspirations: My Wife
Influences: Customer satisfaction, problems dealt and solved
Years in the kitchen: 42

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Chef: Lam Hock Hin

Hilton Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Hong Kong Cantonese
Festival reservations: 03–2264 2264
With his recognition in the fine dining scene and added with years of experience, Chef Lam makes no sign of slowing down. For him, it is about the journey of food far more than the destination. Every day, he’s motivated to see the satisfaction on diners’ faces after indulging on his delectable feasts, meticulously prepared by his kitchen. His main focus is on the quality and presentation, stressing that to achieve fine tasting food, it takes experience and knowledge in presentation, creativity and a great imagination. the ambitious chef enjoys working with Chinese cuisine as he sees the sky as the limit when it comes to creating new Oriental dishes.

Favourite ingredient: Seafood
Most used utensil: Wok
Inspirations: Excellence in everything you do
Influences: Mentors
Years in the kitchen: 21

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Chef: Michael Wong

tHe eMPeror
Sheraton Subang Hotel and Towers
Cuisine: Cantonese
Festival reservations: 03–5031 6060
Perak-born Executive Chinese Chef Michael Wong’s experience in the kitchen began at a young age when he had to cook for his siblings while his mother worked elsewhere. It was a natural progression to move into restaurants, where Chef Michael found that he began to enjoy working in the kitchen. He learned the processes and intricacies of cooking and working in the kitchen through hands-on experience in various establishments in Malaysia. “I’ve never regretted being a chef because there are so many opportunities everywhere, all the time. Everyone needs to eat,” says Michael. Clearly very proud of his heritage, the chef specialises in traditional Cantonese food — very fresh and light, not spicy or too rich, easy on the palate and stomach.

QuiCk BiTes
Favourite ingredient: Spices: salt and pepper
Favourite food: Steamed fish
Most used utensil: Ladle and wok
Inspiration: Places and people, innovating and experimenting
Influence: Traditional Cantonese food
Years in the kitchen: 23

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Chef: Richard Teoh

Genji restaurant
Hilton Petaling jaya
Cuisine: Japanese
Festival reservations: 03-7955 3909

Local born Chef Richard teoh prides himself on recreating authentic Japanese cuisine complete with the presentation and quality that one would exclusively get from the finest dining places in Japan. Learning from the best Japanese chefs and his peers, Chef Richard has not only gained insightful experiences but also the humble mentality that in cooking, it is a never-ending process of learning. “Everyday, you learn something new. it can be from a Master Chef or an apprentice,” he says with a smile. if there were four words that could sum him up, it would definitely be “cook from the heart”, and those are the exact words that Chef Richard lives by.

Favourite ingredient: Air flown seafood for the freshness
Most used utensil: Yanagi knife and deba knife
Inspiration: Chef tatemukai-san
Influence: Japanese culture, especially in food preparation
Years in the kitchen: 23

Chef: Christopher
Chin Kah Woh

GoBo uPstairs
Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Western Grill
Festival reservations: 03–2332 9888

The sure and steadfast Chef Christopher Chin Kah Woh was so sure it was his calling to enter the culinary profession that he dove head-first into it straight after high school. Even after nine years in the culinary profession, Christopher still thinks it is the best decision he has ever made as it has opened many doors to gaining valuable experiences from professional chefs around the world. travelling was also on the menu for Christopher when he worked onboard the Queen Elizabeth ii cruise liner, a significant chapter in the young chef’s life as he served elite holiday-makers all the while absorbing the unique styles of international master chefs. Christopher defines his style as contemporary and modern, as it gives him the freedom to be creative while keeping up with new trends.

Favourite ingredient: Fresh herbs and spices
Most used utensil: Chef’s knife
Inspiration: Rubino Brothers
Influence: Wide-reading

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Chef: Ricky Kamiishi

Hilton Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Authentic Japanese
Festival reservations: 03–2264 2264
Drawing on two decades of experience in preparing traditional Japanese cuisine (and a regular participant in the festival), Executive Japanese Chef Ricky Kamiishi cites some of his inspirations as seasona ingredients — such as seafood and vegetables — from his home country. Chef Ricky imports seafood and other fresh ingredients of the highest quality straight from Japan. His culinary style highlights the freshness and quality of the ingredients he uses, allowing their natural flavours and textures to take centre stage. iketeru and Chef Ricky invite diners to engage all their senses as he brings the authentic taste of Japan to the heart of KL.

Favourite ingredient: Seasonal seafood and vegetables
Most used utensil: Knife
Inspirations: Japan
Influences: First master chef and mentor
Years in the kitchen: 20

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Chef: Mohd Rashid

Crowne Plaza Mutiara
Cuisine: Pan Asian
Festival reservations: 03–2144 3440
Ishq’s chef Mohd Rashid, hails from new Delhi, india. inspired by his cousin, the famous Chef ilyas Kurchi, Chef Rashid took up his apprenticeship twelve years ago and has been delighting diners with delectable north indian cuisines ever since. in turn, he is the role model for his younger brother, a budding chef. Chef Rashid thrives on creating new recipes from fusing cross-culture cuisines, especially when diners request for an off-menu, ‘Whip up something new!’ Always aiming to entice the taste buds of diners, Chef Rashid continually explores his creativity by using different ingredients to achieve uniquely different aromas, tastes and textures, creating hybrids of classic dishes.

Favourite ingredient: Cardamom
Most used utensil: Copper pot
Inspirations: ilyas Kurchi
Influences: Creativity in cross-culture cuisine fusion
Years in the kitchen: 12

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Chef: Kunio Kuwabara

Kura jaPanese restaurant
One World Hotel
Cuisine: Japanese
Festival reservations: 03–7726 9660
Kura Japanese Restaurant’s Executive Chef, Kunio Kuwabara, began seriously pursuing his passion for food at age 20, when he began studying the art and science of being a chef in tokyo. the affable Kuni-san, as he is fondly called, is a skilled sashimi chef, a type of expertise which is very important in Japanese cuisine, in which presentation is as important as taste. He prefers to use the freshest ingredients of the season in his cooking, and this is reflected in Kura’s menu. “Please come to look for me at the sushi counter so i can serve you personally and drink with you,” says Kuni-san, who lists italian food, sushi and natto as his favourite foods.

Favourite ingredient: Yuzu koshou (Japanese spicy paste)
Most used utensil: Yanagiba (sashimi knife)
Inspiration: Surroundings; he looks to everything for inspiration!
Influences: Renowned Japanese chef, Michiba Rokusaburou
Years in the kitchen: 13

Chef: Kevin

Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Modern Western
Festival reservations: 03–2074 3900

Eat first, cook second; a very succinct summary of Chef Kevin’s life passions. He believes in preparing delectable and unique dishes that diners will remember and revel in, in that particular order. Chef Kevin exudes confidence and wit. His motto in life is just as dauntless as his stance, which is, ‘Never copy.’ While gaining valuable experiences from famous chefs in europe, Canadian-born Chef Kevin is determined to progressively mould his own style. On the verdict of just how good his cooking really is (which is exceptionally good, by the way), Chef Kevin replies with another laconic line, ‘proof is in the pudding’.

Favourite ingredient: egg
Most used utensil: My fingers
Inspiration: ferran Adria
Influences: Life experiences
Time in kitchen: 11

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Chef: Bong Jun Choi

lai Po Heen
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Classic Cantonese
Festival reservations: 03–2179 8885

Inspired by his father to master the art of dim sum and haute Cantonese cuisine, Melaka-born executive Chinese Chef Bong Jun Choi has been credited as the man who elevated contemporary Chinese cuisine in Malaysia to a new dimension. Known for his innovative, elegant and intricate dishes, the well-travelled chef makes trips abroad as often as possible—most recently to Hong Kong, China and Macau, and the magnificent Arabian resort, Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai—to exchange and gain new culinary experiences. Chef Bong’s philosophy is to be adventurous, yet maintain a certain authenticity. With almost three decades of experience, he has won numerous accolades, both locally and internationally, and is sought after as a judge for culinary competitions.

Favourite ingredient: Fresh vegetables
Most used utensil: Wide-blade spatula and ladle
Inspiration: Cantonese cuisine
Influence: travelling experiences
Years in the kitchen: 30

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Chef: Jaffery Othman

Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Festival reservations: 03–2716 9961

Trained in classic french cuisine, MeD.@Marché’s Specialty Chef, Jaffery Othman brings to the restaurant more than 18 years of experience and adds a french twist to its modern Mediterranean cuisine. He has studied with world-renowned chefs Marco Pierre White—at the River Room Restaurant in Lowry Hotel, Manchester—and Raymond Blanc. Jaffery cites that some of the landmarks in his career are cooking for Queen elizabeth, tony Blair, Kylie Minogue, and Manchester United football team, among others. Pleased with the ability to combine his love for art and cooking, Jaffery says: “it’s exciting to be a chef now, as we’re freer to create and be more artistic and adventurous.”

Favourite ingredient: extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper
Most used utensil: Spatula
Inspiration: His travels
Influence: Chefs he has worked with; Mom’s cooking
Years in the kitchen: 18

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Chef: Andy Seng

MinG ren
Genting Highlands Resort
Cuisine: Xinjiang Lamb specialty
Festival reservations: 03–6105 9879

Coming up with unconventional ideas and daring to try unusual combinations is the prerogative of a chef who knows his ingredients, and Chef Andy Seng is certainly one such chef. Bringing to Ming Ren 25 years of experience, Chef Andy has worked up the ranks in many Chinese restaurants in Singapore, and assisted in setting up many new restaurants, including one in Moscow, where he created his renowned “coffee pork” dish. His tenure in Ming Ren is his first in Malaysia. “A good chef must have a passion for food and eating,” says Andy, who loves
to watch, read and learn anything to do with food. “the best thing about being a chef is making people happy with my creations. And the most important thing is to engage me to cook for them!”

Favourite ingredient: Fresh ingredients, doesn’t use MSG
Most used utensil: Wok and ladle
Inspiration: Everything; his adventurous spirit
Influence: Chinese cuisine
Years in the kitchen: 25

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Chef: Oliver Lopez

tHe olive
Genting Hotel
Cuisine: Continental
Festival reservations: 03–6101 1118

Executive Sous Chef Oliver Lopez began his training in the culinary arts in the kitchens of Genting Highlands in 1983, where he now oversees all the restaurants at Genting Hotel. Born and bred in the Portuguese settlement of Melaka, Chef Oliver cites his mother’s excellent cristang cooking as one of the reasons for his attraction to his metier. Specialising in french and italian cuisine, this affable chef has been at the Olive since its inception (and a regular MiGf fixture), and has been involved in developing and applying his extensive culinary experience to Genting’s many restaurants.

Favourite ingredient: Herbs
Most used utensil: Wooden spoon
Inspiration: Culinary ideas from Michelin rated chefs
Influence: French and italian cuisines
Years in the kitchen: 24

Chef: Dirk Haltenhof

PaCiFiCa Grill & Bar

Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Contemporary European
Festival reservations: 03–2380 8888

“I love to eat and have a lot of fun discovering new flavours, combinations and dishes,” says Chef de Cuisine Dirk Haltenhof. “i’m a fan of Asian cuisine, but i love the traditional Western way of cooking. i like mixing colours on a plate, using the freshest ingredients possible, seasoning them well.” Hailing from the Black forest in south-western Germany, Chef Dirk is also a trained engineer, born into a family that has been in the hospitality industry for generations. He cites his grandfather, also a chef, as his greatest influence, nurturing his love for food. “for me, the learning never ends; every day i discover some food i’ve never tried before,” says Dirk, who has worked in several Michelinstar awarded restaurants in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Favourite ingredient: fresh grated lime, lemon, calamansi and herbs
Most used utensil: Brush to decorate the plate; knives
Inspiration: My environment—open senses, open eyes, ears, etc…
Influence: Grandfather
Years in the kitchen: 7

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Chef: Rajesh Kanna

The Westin Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: latin american
Festival reservations: 03–2773 8012

Johor-born Chef Rajesh thrives on the daily challenges of being a chef, cherishing what he learns from them. His eye for detail and pursuit of creativity are clear manifestations of his passion for the culinary arts. Using only the finest ingredients and the most creative preparations, he presents his creations with pride and zest. His 12 years in the kitchen, hunger for knowledge and thirst to explore new cooking techniques keep the passion for his profession. Chef Rajesh is testament to the reality that to be a good chef doesn’t just involve mastering the skills; it’s sheer hard work, limitless creativity and a moulded personal style that really set Chef Rajesh apart from his peers.

Favourite ingredient: fresh vegetables
Most used utensil: Saute Pan
Inspiration: father
Influence: experiences
Years in the kitchen: 12

Chef: Zhou Shu Hua

qinG ZHen
Novotel Hydro Majestic Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Chinese Muslim
Festival reservations: 03–2147 0888

Master Chef Zhou Shu Hua is among the first Chinese Muslim chefs to work in a top Malaysian hotel. He hails from Kunming Province and started his career as an apprentice cook at an army camp hotel in Chengdu, and learnt his craft from a master chef from Szechuan who also worked at the same place. Chef Zhou’s specialties are Szechuan cuisine, lamb and seafood dishes.

the friendly and affable chef says what distinguishes Qing Zhen from the rest is that all its ingredients are imported from the Szechuan area, and that contributes to the authenticity of its dishes.

Favourite ingredient: Seafood
Most used utensil: the wok
Inspiration: Satisfied customers
Influence: Chefs from Szechuan
Years in kitchen: 24

Chef: Ganga Prasad

saGar nortHern inDian restaurant
Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Authentic Northern Indian
Festival reservations: 03–2141 2532

With 18 years of culinary experience, Chef Ganga Prasad exudes a professional air of calm confidence. the zeal shows in his eyes as he elaborates on his one passion: preparing and cooking traditional indian cuisine. Chef Ganga believes there is no end to learning indian cooking, as he is still surprised by emerging new recipes from his homeland of india.

Favourite ingredient: indian spices, especially red chilli powder
Most used utensil: Heavy frying pan
Inspiration: Kundan Singh
Influence: All the mentors he has worked for
Years in the kitchen: 18

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Chef: Michael Elfwing

Hilton Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Modern australian
Festival reservations: 03–2264 2264

Young, self-assured and immensely passionate about his job, Michael elfwing’s life path was clear from a very young age. trained to be a chef in the traditional way by his father, who was an executive Chef for the Hilton chain, Michael was well prepared to take on all the challenges that came with the job. “Being a chef is not only about cooking; it is about how to set standards for yourself, having the willingness to sacrifice and knowing how to run a kitchen,” he states with unabashed conviction. At Senses, Chef Michael strives to delight diners with an extraordinary meal, going the extra mile to get special, hard-to-get ingredients. this year’s MiGf
menu contains ingredients found during Michael’s travels, including italy, Scotland and Japan. “the MiGf is the one time of the year when the chef gets to let diners try everything he wants them to try,” says Michael. “it’s a really good feeling—something very different!”

Favourite ingredient: Salt
Most used utensil: Kitchen tweezer
Inspiration: father
Influence: european; Scandinavia/New Nordic cuisine; thomas Keller; Sam Mason
Years in the kitchen: 10

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Chef: Ricky Thein

tai Zi Heen
Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Cantonese
Festival reservations: 03–2170 8888

Hot and brand new at Tai Zi Heen is Chef de Cuisine Ricky Thein Yiew, who comes from a family deeply involved in the hospitality industry. With almost 20 years of experience in modern Cantonese and Asian cuisine, working in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Thailand, Chef Ricky cites his family—including his cousin, Master Chef Bong Jun Choi—as well as masters from Hong Kong as his influences. “Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures,” says Chef Ricky. For him, food is art as well as nourishment: “People must know how to enjoy their food, and not just eat to fill their stomachs! I love eating well, and I love presenting food well.”

Favourite ingredient: 5 spice powders, different curry powders
Most used utensil: Chinese cooking utensils, ladle and wok
Inspiration: Observing the world around him; exotic ingredients that can’t be found in Malaysia
Influence: Family and Hong

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Chef: Ibrahim Salim

Putrajaya Marriott Hotel
Cuisine: Italian
Festival reservations: 03–8949 8888

A love for food brought him into the kitchen, and inspiration sparked his interest in developing it into a career. From helping his parents prepare local cuisine in their catering business, Chef Ibrahim Salim was spurred on to pursue a career as a chef, specialising in his favourite Italian cuisine. Going to great lengths to ensure that only the freshest ingredients are used in his kitchen, Chef Ibrahim creates delicious dishes such as spaghetti aglio olio, braised lamb shank and barbequed ribs for the diners at Tuscany. “The MIGF is a good platform to motivate chefs to constantly develop and elevate themselves to new levels,” says Chef Ibrahim. “This year seems even bigger and better. I’m looking forward to it!”

Favourite ingredient: Garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil
Most used utensil: Pasta pan & chef’s knife
Inspiration: Mother, culinary programmes on TV
Influence: Parents, master chefs
Years in the kitchen: 17

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Chef: Chan Choo Kean

West laKe GarDen CHinese restaurant
Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa
Cuisine: Cantonese
Festival reservations: 03–7492 8000 ext. 3181

Hailing from Ipoh, Perak, Chef Chan Choo Kean’s foray into the industry began at 15, spurred by his love for food. Inspired by his older brother (also a chef), Chef Chan began training at various establishments, including hotels and restaurants in Malaysia and Singapore, garnering valuable experience and insights from various master chefs. Always on the look out and ready to experiment with fresh, creative ideas, Chef Chan’s philosophy lies in using only the freshest and finest ingredients available, adopting a personal touch in the preparation to create a truly
exquisite dining experience.

Favourite ingredient: Japanese sauces and Chinese herbs
Favourite food: Mom’s cooking
Most used utensil: Wok
Inspiration: TV, magazines, hawker stalls, restaurants, internet
Influence: Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine
Years in the kitchen: 25

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Chef: Louie Hoi

Zuan yuan CHinese restaurant
One World Hotel
Cuisine: Chinese
Festival reservations: 03–7681 1154

Zuan Yuan’s executive Chinese Chef Louie Hoi came into his profession by chance, but it proved providential, as his choice led him to a rewarding
career path. His training kicked off at his uncle’s restaurant before he joined Hilton Petaling Jaya, and with that, his foray into the hospitality industry began. He has since worked in many prestigious hotels, including Legend Hotel, Pan Pacific Hotel (Pangkor), Sheraton Subang and now, One World Hotel. Unassuming and friendly, this KL-ite specialises in Cantonese cuisine and enjoys incorporating local spices and flavours into his creations. He brings to Zuan Yuan 15 years of rich culinary experience and a zest for creating deliciously complex flavours.

Favourite ingredient: Homemade XO sauce, superior yellow/brown sauce
Most used utensil: Wok and chopsticks
Inspiration: Food tasting, surfing the net
Influence: Uncle, Chef Mok; Hong Kong style
cooking; local flavours and spices
Years in the kitchen: 15

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Chef: David Pam

CHina treasures
Sime Darby Convention Centre
Cuisine: Chinese
Festival reservations: 03–2089 3788

Chef David Pam’s famous words, ‘We make sure everything is authentic and not easily duplicated’ can be seen bolded into a blurb in one of the many feature articles on the popular restaurant, China Treasures, where he is the restaurant chef and secret recipe keeper. Calm and collected, Chef Pam astounds diners with savoury Chinese cuisine bursting with flavours that has drawn a pool of faithful patrons.

Favourite ingredient: Home-made chicken stock
Most used utensil: Spatula
Inspirations: Ram Cheong
Influences: Hong Kong style of cooking.
Years in the kitchen: 11

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Chef Gordon Freddy Boyong

tHe DininG rooM @ la BoDeGa
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: Modern spanish
Festival reservations: 03–2287 0851

Food has always been a passion for Chef Gordon Freddy Boyong. “My father is a great cook and loves preparing food for the whole family—he’s one of my inspirations,” says Chef Gordon, who hails from the land beneath the wind, Sabah. The Dining Room’s Chef Gordon was trained in the culinary arts in Switzerland, and worked in Denmark for a few years before returning to Malaysia. Specialising in european—particularly French, Scandinavian and Italian—cuisine, Chef Gordon’s approach to cooking is to keep it simple, but inspired. Citing his signature dish as pan-fried cod with seaweed sauce and seafood risotto, Chef Gordon enjoys eating healthy: fruits and pasta are his staples.

“What I like best about being a chef is the ability to be artistic and creative and letting everyone enjoy the fruits of one’s labour,” he says. “Inspiration comes from within, and from what I encounter daily. Ideas come from the most ridiculous situations, so I always keep my eyes and mind open.”

Favourite ingredient: Garlic, parmesan, good olive oil
Most used utensil: Tongs
Inspirations: Making something wonderful out of simple things
Influences: everyone I’ve worked with. One never stops learning!
Years in the kitchen: 10

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Chef: Chef Kamaroull bin Mohd Zabidi

Feast Floor, Starhill Gallery
Cuisine: Fine Malay
Festival reservations: 03–2141 8973

Chef Kamaroull bin Mohd Zabidi is a master of Malay cuisine, a traditionalist who likes taking the exotic ingredients that Malaysia has on offer and infusing them into stylishly updated creations. “I love the values that are embodied in the Malay kitchen, the gathering of family, the communal style,” he says of his enak creations, dishes that will delight any diner.

Favourite ingredient: Seahood, herbs
Most used utensil: Chef’s knife
Inspirations: Malaysia
Influences: My mother who taught me how to cook
Years in the kitchen: 15

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Claudio Cucchiarelli

Il teMPio
Jalan 1, Taman Tun Abdul Razak,
Ampang, Selangor
Cuisine: Italian
Festival reservations: 03–4256 8200

Chef “Papa” Claudio Cucchiarelli, who hails from the coast near Rome, Italy, has made it his mission to let the world know that there’s much more to Italian food than the stereotypical, ubiquitous pizza and pasta. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, this widely-travelled chef is a traditionalist when it comes to serving quality, authentic Italian food from the country’s many regions—not compromising on his standards, picking the best ingredients and reproducing each dish’s authentic, original taste as far as possible. Be prepared for a total Italian experience at Il Tempio with “Papa” Claudio!

Favourite ingredient: Fish
Most used utensil: A good knife
Inspiration: Travelling; people he’s met along the way
Influence: Italian regional cooking
Years in the kitchen: 40+

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Chef: Jerome Deconinck

le FranCais
One Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Cuisine: French
Festival reservations: 03–2282 2510

The guest list of those who have dined at Chef Jerome Deconinck’s table looks like the united nations Who’s Who Directory. As Chef de Parite to former French Prime Minister Jospin, Jerome has cooked for famous people such as former uS President Bill Clinton and the late Yasser Arafat, among others.

Chef Jerome describes Le Français as a top class Brassiere and the fare is what you would find in a typical French home on a Sunday when all
gather for the proverbial family meal.

Chef Jerome hails from the town of Annecy where he apprenticed under Master Chef George Paccard and attended a two-year study course at
the famed Thonon-les Bains.

Favourite ingredient: Seafood
Most used utensil: Frying pan
Inspiration: All good things in life
Influence: My family
Years in kitchen: 15

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Chef: Somkhuan Wandee

taMarinD sPrinGs
Jalan 1, Taman Tun Abdul Razak,
Ampang, Selangor
Cuisine: Indochinese
Festival reservations: 03–4256 9300

Executive Chef Somkhuan Wandee hails from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Finding inspiration from her grandmother, who once served the King of Siam, she began cultivating her culinary skills under the tutelage of her mother. Her delectable culinary creations are made using only the most authentic and freshest ingredients, local and imported—never compromising on quality and authenticity. Chef Somkhuan plays the key role in winning acclaim and prestigious local awards for Tamarind Springs.

Favourite ingredient: Fiery red chillies
Most used utensil: Wok
Inspiration: Learning new menus
Influences: Mother who learnt from grandmother
Years in kitchen: 21
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