Ep 185: Celebrating South East Asian Cuisines & Food Cultures with the Kita Food Festival

About This Episode

23 Aug 2023 • 32m42s

“This is a South East Asian festival. It will be a mouthpiece for us to develop the vocabulary that surrounds South East Asian cooking, food culture and, moving forward, South East Asian restaurants.”

This week, Gary is joined by Leisa Tyler and Darren Teoh, co-founders of the Kita Food Festival - which this year celebrates its third anniversary in Malaysia and Singapore. Leisa is a Malaysia-based food and travel journalist and founder of Weeds&More, which supplies heirloom produce to hotels and restaurants. Darren is Head Chef of one-Michelin starred Dewakan restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.

The festival takes place in four destinations, Kuching, Penang, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, from 27 September-30 October. It brings together innovative chefs in each city with counterparts from around the region. It also provides a platform to discuss key issues, such as biodiversity, carbon impact, food security and managing waste. Leisa and Darren discuss the highlights of this year’s festival, plans for future expansion and nurturing the next generation of chefs in the region.

Plus, we tackle key hospitality issues, such as ingredient sourcing, innovation and the growing Michelin star influence on food tourism and dining in Asia. Is it a help or a hindrance to developing sustainable culinary scenes representing place and culture?

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