Archives: Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2015 (01-31 October 2015)

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End of an Odyssey
MIGF closes out its 15th year in style with the traditional Awards and Celebration Party
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The intrepid culinary crew of MIGF 2015 - Galactic Chefs!

With a glittering guest list that included royalty, foreign ambassadors, celebrities, captains of industry and international food writers, the MIGF Awards and Celebration Party closed out Galactic Chefs! 2015: A Food Odyssey in style. The finale of the annual Festival’s 15th edition saw extra-terrestrial stilt-walkers, an inter-galactic squadron, red-hot dancers, and of course much celebrating and merriment in an interstellar send off.

A cosmic vibe in the main ballroom with a forcefield of candelabras on either side

Spaceship highbeams lighting up the ballroom while guests feast on the international spread

A fiery performance by red hot dancers with a few chefs joining in off stage

LED light performers used the force in their displays

The Galactic Chefs of 2015 were deservedly recognised for their tireless efforts over the past month serving specially-created Festival Menus at special Festival Prices. With the end of the Festival, the Chefs were able to let down their hair, receive awards for their spectacular menus, and party the night away with their fellow Chefs thanks to the spirit of togetherness that MIGF so keenly fosters.

Galactic Chefs with Cosmic Girls!

The 501st Legion Malaysia Outpost joined forces with the Galactic Chefs throughout this year's Festival

Connexion @ Nexus, Bangsar South was the venue at which the Chefs’ spaceship landed as over 1,000 guests piled into the picture-perfect ballroom. Elegantly decorated with candelabras, a huge spaceship on stage, and plenty of alien cardboard cut-outs, the assembled VIPs could not help but be impressed by the exquisite layout as Blue Elephant bar’s DJ Kuma had the crowd jumping to his beats. Around the perimeter of the ballroom were numerous food stalls selling Asian and Western delicacies, from dim sum spreads to roast lamb spits, and a handful of bars helping the party along thanks to Festival Drinks Partner 56 Degrees Whisky and numerous other beverages.

Blue Elephant bar’s DJ Kuma keeping the beats steady and bass low

Aliens on stilts roamed the ballroom

From Sarawak Laksa to Spaghetti Aglio Olio, a buffet of Eastern and Western delights greeted guests

Earlier in the day, the bulk of the awards encompassing some 29 different categories, were presented to the Chefs and their restaurant teams in the Auditorium of the venue. Honouring a raft of accomplishments from the Festival Menus, restaurant ambience, marketing and success at the Festival’s magnificent preview event TasteMIGF, trophies were given by a beaming Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, Deputy Director General (Promotion) for Tourism Malaysia.

Chef Marc Fery of Graze receiving an award from Guest of Honour, Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin

Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin and MIGF Organising Chairman Dato' Steve Day with award winners

As evening fell in Bangsar South, guests began arriving in droves as the venue’s ubiquitous monitors flashed with the results from the prior ceremony and animated chatter began among guests about who would win the coveted Golden Cauldron at the end of the evening.

Guests gathering in the hall before the ballroom ready to witness the interstellar action

With all the guests in their seats and the gala well and truly under way, a swarm of hostile aliens materialised in front of the stage, threatening the mysterious traveller that emerged from the spaceship. As the aliens advanced, he looked close to defeat but then suddenly, and just in the nick of time reinforcements arrived.

Alien attack! Our courageous space voyager prepares for battle before his spaceship

Combat ensues on stage as both sides fight and trade shots

Festival Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day came to save the day, riding on his intergalactic pink flamingo, armed with a lightsabre as he revealed that the galactic creatures were merely hungry, and offered each of them a Festival Magazine. Helping to disperse the magazines were a group of female cosmic soldiers who made sure all foreign life forms received a copy.

On his trusty pink flamingo, Dato' Steve and his crew roll up with MIGF Festival Magazines - the aliens only wanted food!

Ahoy! With light sabre in hand, Dato' Steve greets the Galactic Chefs

With that, the aliens left delighted and the mysterious traveller was revealed to be Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar, Festival Royal Patron since MIGF’s inception. Together, Tunku Naquiyuddin and Dato’ Steve welcomed the Galactic Chefs onto the stage as their appearance was met by a chorus of cheers and eager applause from all the guests.

Festival Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin and Dato' Steve sharing anecdotes through their 15 years of MIGF

The 501st Legion stand guard with the gathered group on stage

Before announcing the winners of the final six awards of MIGF 2015 later in the evening, Dato’ Steve presented Tunku Naquiyuddin with a gift as appreciation for his 15 years of service in his capacity as the Royal Patron. The Festival Organising Chairman then brought on stage the 501st Legion Malaysia Outpost whose galactic costumes had been the talk of the Festival both at TasteMIGF and now at the Awards and Celebration Party. As thanks for their memorable service to the Festival, Dato’ Steve proudly presented a cheque for RM20,000 to the Legion’s chosen charity – The Malaysian AIDS Foundation.

AIDS Foundation Honourary Secretary Encik Hisham Hussein accepting the cheque

With the Chef’s once more gathering on stage, it was time for the highlight of the evening – the announcement of the final six awards. Resorts World Genting’s three restaurants swept the first four as Imperial Rama won both Most Popular Restaurant at the VIP Gala Launch and Most Popular Overall Restaurant at Taste MIGF. This was followed by the whole Genting team retaining their Most Outstanding Marketing of the Festival award and The Olive winning Most Outstanding Overall Festival Experience.

Once more the Galactic chefs emerge from their spacecraft

Tunku Naquiyuddin, Dato' Steve and Dato' Azizan ready to bestow the final awards of the night

It was only the announcement of the Chef Congeniality Award that put a halt to Genting’s form. Voted exclusively by the Festival Chefs themselves, the award recognises the most amiable and respected Chef throughout the Festival among his or her peers. Maison Francaise’s Chef Thierry Le Baut claimed the top award; the French native clearly delighted to be honoured in such a way as he earned a huge ovation from the whole ballroom.

A beaming Chef Thierry Le Baut picks up the Chef Congeniality

Finally, the last and most prestigious award of the Festival had its winner – this year’s Golden Cauldron for Best All-Round Restaurant was won by The Olive on an incredible evening for Genting’s three restaurants, who ended up taking home five of the top six awards. In Genting’s 50th anniversary year, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Ed Holloway said that the Golden Cauldron capped off an incredibly memorable year for the sky-high resort, but promised more great things to come in future.

The winner of the Golden Cauldron Award for the Best All-Around Restaurant 2015 - Chef Radzuan Hamzah of The Olive

The elated team of Genting - having picked up five of the top six awards 

Amid much jubilation and celebration, the party continued well into the night as the curtain fell on MIGF 2015 with a perfect end to a month of culinary creativity. Be sure to keep an eye out for MIGF 2016 to see where the Festival is going next and what surprises it has in store.