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Local Farmers Are the Backbone Of M’sian Haute Cuisine
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Local Farmers Are the Backbone Of M’sian Haute Cuisine

Anne Dorall

Renowned chef Cedric Bourassin from top hospitality management school École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland has claimed his love for Malaysian food and produce.

Chefs from EHL’s training restaurant collaborated with chefs and Advanced Diploma students from Taylor’s Culinary Institute to present a culinary showcase.

In a stunning 7-course dinner, the chefs and students served up a storm of breath-taking fusion dishes using only local ingredients.

The first starter boasts a perfect egg topped with potato foam and black truffle.
(Picture credit: Taylor’s University)

It’s a testament to the creativity and dedication of our Malaysian chefs-in-training, combining the skills that they have picked up at their internships in renowned Michelin-stared restaurants overseas with the diversity of our locally-sourced ingredients.

Fine dining always aims to maximize the flavour of its ingredients, which is why fresh local produce are so important.

The second starter is a red snapper ceviche, cured slices of raw fish topped with crunchy radishes, edible flowers, and kumquat.
(Picture credit: Taylor’s University)

In fact, when asked how to elevate Malaysian cuisine, chef Cedric very matter-of-factly stated that the best way was to support our local produce.

“Without good ingredients, we cannot do a good cuisine.”

Chef Cedric Bourassin to TRP

He recommends supporting the most important link in the culinary process: the farmers who provide the ingredients.

To ensure quality and diversity of produce, we have to promote and highlight local producers.

Currently, Malaysia’s farmers markets, or more locally known as pasar tani, are an acquired taste. The produce is vibrant and fresh, but it’s not often a place you would like to spend hours strolling around, breathing in the powerful aroma of… produce.

Much like how Europe and parts of Asia have a strong culture of farmers’ markets, where farmers can sell their produce directly in a pleasant and quaint local market, this practice should be more widely adopted in Malaysia as well.

Chef Cedric Bourassin shows a Taylor’s student plating techniques.
(Picture credit: Taylor’s University)

Chef Cedric states that the base of all good cooking is the ingredients, and we already have the base.

According to him, Malaysian cuisine is wide and diverse, which is a huge advantage for Malaysian cooks.

The variety of our cuisine isn’t easily reproduced in places like Europe, because they don’t have access to our ingredients and spices.

Even a common ingredient like tiger prawn can be elevated to haute cuisine.
(Picture credit: Taylor’s University)

He also notes that our Malaysian chefs tend to be highly creative with their culinary style: merging Western techniques with local Malaysian ingredients to come up with fusion delights.

“The most important thing is to cook from your heart. If you are not passionate in what you are doing, you are not going to fulfill anything.”

Chef Cedric Bourassin to TRP

Well, it’s a good thing Malaysians are super passionate about our food!

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