Monday, February 26, 2024
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Brunei Town

Palate-tickling flavours of Brunei cuisine

Izah Azahari

More local youth need to go out of their comfort zones to push their boundaries and pursue their career in the culinary industry and be well renowned internationally, said Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong during the virtual launching of Brunei Gastronomy Week 2022 yesterday.

The annual programme by the Brunei Tourism Board and Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism will be held until March 3.

The 6th Brunei Gastronomy Week is organised in conjunction with the 38th National Day celebration, themed ‘Pandan Leaves’.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali said the initiative coincides with one of the strategic objectives of the Tourism Development Department, which is to develop activity-based tourism products at regional and international levels.

“Events such as the Brunei Gastronomy Week; Brunei December Festival; Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition; and the Brunei International Flower Show, aims to attract visitors and special interest groups to Brunei Darussalam,” said the minister, adding that this will eventually lead to an increase in tourist arrivals that contribute significantly to the growth of the tourism related economic activities.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong giving a speech at the launch of Brunei Gastronomy Week 2022; and the minister launching the programme. PHOTOS: IZAH AZAHARI

Ten chefs participating at the Brunei Gastronomy Workshop

“I hope that our local youth will take this opportunity to learn and improve their culinary skills, and be more innovative and serious in pursuing a career in the culinary industry,” said the minister.

Touching on the ‘Taste of Brunei’ event that will be a part of the Brunei Gastronomy Week 2022, the minister hoped it will continue to exceed customers’ expectations and gradually increase the demand for fine-dining restaurants and cuisines in the future.

The minister also reminded all Brunei Gastronomy Week 2022 participants to ensure compliance with the guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) provided by the Ministry of Health, as well as for restaurants and food providers to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and food quality to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Acting Director of the Tourism Development Department Salinah binti Haji Mohd Salleh mentioned that the Brunei Gastronomy Week aims at promoting Bruneian cuisines by elevating the taste, innovating the presentation, and to encourage more hotels and restaurants to serve local cuisines on par with international standards annually.

“By organising this annual event, we aspire to develop talented, experienced as well as young budding chefs to be more innovative and further heighten the level of skilled personnel within the Food and Beverage (F&B) Industry, and support Bruneians who are driven and passionate and want to achieve world class recognition,” she said.

The Acting Director also shared that the Tourism Development Department has collaborated with several parties including Radio Television Brunei (RTB) and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd to further promote signature dishes prepared by the participating hotels and restaurants, along with GoMamam to specially feature restaurants participating in Brunei Gastronomy Week 2022 on their app whereby people can now order the food and get them delivered to
their doorstep.

“The Tourism Development Department will continue to improve the Brunei Gastronomy Week by enhancing our existing programmes and introducing new initiatives to support and promote our local culinary industry,” added the acting director.

Each year, Brunei Gastronomy Week aims at creating an awareness on Bruneian cuisine; to encourage more hotels and restaurants to serve Bruneian cuisines on par with international standards; to further improve on the taste and elevate the presentation of Bruneian dishes to be served as part of a fine dining experience or at receptions within or outside the country; to provide a unique Bruneian gastronomical experience to visitors within or outside the country.

This year, Brunei Gastronomy Week will expand its activities into three sub-events – Brunei Gastronomy Award, the Taste of Brunei 2022i, and the 1­st Brunei Gastronomy Workshop.Twelve hotels, restaurants and food service providers are participating in Brunei Gastronomy Week 2022.

The participating agencies for Brunei Gastronomy Awards 2022 are Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) School of Hospitality and Tourism, The Rizqun International Hotel, V Plaza Hotel Brunei, Stoneville Hotel, The Brunei Hotel, Mulia Hotel, Wafa Hotel and Apartment, Anjung Saujana Restaurant, Dynasty Restaurant, Eco Ponies Garden, Nasi Talam Brunei Restaurant and The Melting Pot.

Throughout the Brunei Gastronomy Week period, participating agencies will be promoting their own signature dishes such as pan fried beef with pandan mint sauce and potato pandan puree by Dynasty Restaurant; udang sengkuang with pandan lemongrass by Eco Ponies Garden; earth and sea (Atlantic Salmon belly crudo, pandan crispy rice & nori-pandan dust) by The Melting Pot.

The event also saw the minister presenting certificates of participation to all agencies involved.

An awards ceremony also followed the virtual event for the Brunei Gastronomy Week 2021 participants.

Awards winners comprise Best Starter – The Rizqun International Hotel with its satay lilit dengan sambal mentah; Best Main Course- The Rizqun International Hotel with its Rizqun ‘gear box’ soup istimewa; and Best Dessert to Goldiana Café and Lounge, Mulia Hotel with its onde–onde churros & bubur cacah mochi.

Meanwhile, the Brunei Gastronomy Workshop is a new initiative organised by Tourism Development Department this year in collaboration with IBTE and Cloudstreet Restaurant Singapore.

For this event, Chef Mark Tai, 2021 Michelin-Guide Young Chef Awardee will be the instructor during the workshop, highlighting techniques on how to elevate Brunei Darussalam`s local delicacies with innovative and modern cooking skills.

Taste of Brunei will be held for the second time this year in collaboration with The Radisson Hotel Brunei. A total of 10 young and talented budding chefs will be partaking in this event that will be held on February 26 and 27.

They will be showcasing their take on signature dishes at Mutiara Ballroom, The Radisson Hotel Brunei.

The event was also followed by the presentation of certificates of participation by the minister to Chef Mark Tai as instructor for Brunei Gastronomy Workshop 2022, and Representatives of Taste of Brunei 2022 budding chefs and the Judges for Brunei Gastronomy Week 2022.

Supporting the event are the Brunei Tourism Board, IBTE, Cloudstreet Restaurant Singapore, The Radisson Hotel Brunei, GoMamam, Mc Maju Cold Storage Sdn Bhd, PDS Abbatoir Sdn Bhd, Farmgate Trading, TGT Sdn Bhd, Brunei Association of Hotels, Association of Travel Agents Brunei, RTB and local media.

The winners of Brunei Gastronomy Week 2022 will be announced on March 3.

Also present at the virtual event were members from the Brunei Association of Hotels and Association of Travel Agents Brunei, restaurants, hoteliers, food service providers, travel agencies, event partners and other tourism stakeholders.