Advancing food science, culinary & agrotechnology | MY • SG
Soy sauce. Dark, light, sweet and salty – it is all of those things, and yet more. Flavour in every splash, aroma in cooking and colour to contrast occasionally dull-toned foods, it is an ingredient long-used in the cuisines of the East. The food culture of Penang is merely one in the many that have, since ages past, benefitted from the use of what can only be called the Ingredient of the Greats.
Kuala Lumpur: MICA’s ‘Black Box’ Culinary Challenge held recently in conjunction with the MICA YOUNG CHEF TALENT SEARCH 2018 was a hit with budding young chefs of different races from all over the country. More than 50 young hopefuls turned up for a chance to win Gold, Silver and Bronze placings as well as to impress the judges made up of Celebrity Chefs, Executive Chefs, Presidents of Chefs Association in Malaysia and Culinary Experts in the industry. MICA is the abbreviation for Malaysian Indian Chefs Association led by President, Chef Ricky Narayanan and Advisor, Chef Shanmugam Rajoo both who brings with them more than 20 years of experience in the culinary industry.
Shakespeare once wrote: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. This timeless phrase, we (loosely, with artistic license!) compare to chocolatiers’ iconic chocolate blocks – lovely, a joy to work with, and so beautifully temperate. After all, the art of tempering chocolate is synonymous with a fine finish. Gloss is not over-rated.
“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That – that’s about it.” – Bubba, Forrest Gump, 1994.
Imagine, if you will, a sandwich. What’s in it, you ask? Ham, cheese and eggs, paired with all kinds off crisp, fresh-picked produce. It’s your imaginary sandwich, after all. Pile on the sauces of your choice, and you’re ready to go. But wait – we’re forgetting something.
Imagine, for a second, that plants bore offspring as a result of inter-species marriages. Take an onion and give it dill-weed to take as a wife. Then, marry the result of this union with one formed of celery and anise. As bizarre as this combination sounds, it isn’t, really – because what has just formed is the bulb of the fennel plant.
Growing up, this humble writer’s ideal cup of coffee was a good, thick kopi o’. Think a tar-black concoction, beans roasted to a pitch-black coal with sugar and butter, ground up and steeped from a sock-strainer. They are national favourites, after all – kopi o’ and kopi peng. Many of us will find it difficult to pinpoint the exact time in which the shift in coffee culture began. Some will argue that it came with the franchised Western coffee giants that, it had seemed, blossomed out of thin air overnight.
About a decade ago, plenty of hot fuss was kicked up in the wake of a rather entertaining campaign for dairy products. This campaign, born in sunny California in the United States of America, promoted the concept of happy cows, which in turn gave rise to great dairy produce. Last year, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed their final appeal in a decade-long lawsuit against the California Milk Advisory Board in the Californian Supreme Court. PETA’s beef (no pun intended) with the ads? That Californian cows were, in fact, terribly unhappy as opposed to the widely advertised claim. PETA lost the suit.
Crisp and crunchy or soft and fork-tender; the honeydew is a melon most beloved. In appearance it is humble. Golden yellow or pale green, the melon, when sliced, displays a heartful of tiny seeds. Scrape them away and furnish yourself with a spoon – your melon is ready to be eaten.
Pastry Chefs have long appreciated good quality cream as a vital ingredient in their exquisite creations. There is a delicate science involved in producing cream in its finest form, which gives it the power to enhance recipes. It is bound by strict guidelines, determined by climatic conditions and certainly entails intricate know-how. Recently, a professional workshop was held at the Starhill Culinary Studio to demonstrate the superior quality of European cream. Chef Jean Michel Fraisse conducted a brief theoretical introduction on the cream.