Showing posts with label cooking class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cooking class. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


(left-right) Hilton Chef Steven Wong, Australian High Commissioner Dr Justin Lee, Chef Eric Siew and Agriculture Counsellor Sanjay Boothalingam

Australian lamb is not only lean, tender, and healthy but also versatile and easy to cook. With many different cuts available, the meat is suitable for both Asian and Western cooking. 

Meat Livestock Australia (MLA) recently hosted a fun-filled Lambassadors’ Workshop to showcase the great attributes of Australian lamb at Chambers Restaurant, Hilton Kuala Lumpur.
Australian High Commissioner Dr Justin Lee (left) and Agriculture Counsellor Sanjay Boothalingam joined local media members in making open-face lamb pies in a hands-on workshop conducted by Lambassador Chef Eric Siew and 
Hilton KL Chef Steven Wong.
In his welcome speech, Dr Lee highlighted that 38% of the global supplies – approximately 431,000 tonnes – of sheep meat comes from Australia. Malaysia is the second largest destination for Australian sheep meat in South-East Asia as the country imports 84% of its sheep meat from Australia.

Dr Lee said: “Our red meat export industry is underpinned by a strong biosecurity framework and export regulations in addition to our world-class food regulatory system. Australia also supplies over 17 Islamic markets with Australian halal red meat. We abide by importing country requirements, Australian export legislation, and the Australian Government Authorised Halal Program (AGAHP).”

After observing the two Lambassador Chefs in action (refer to recipe enclosed), the media members then made and decorated their own lamb pies. They were also treated to an array of afternoon tea treats featuring Australian beef and lamb prepared by the Hilton KL team.
According to Valeska, Meat & Livestock Australia’s Regional Manager for South-east Asia, maintaining current production and consumption levels of Australian red meat – beef and lamb – will not contribute to additional global temperature rise – otherwise known as ‘climate neutral’. This means eating Australian lamb does not have an adverse impact on the environment.

“In addition, greenhouse gas emissions from our red meat industry have halved over the last 16 years. There is significantly more tree cover on Australia’s grazing lands than there was 30 years ago, and it takes 68% less water to produce a kilo of beef,” she said.
Australian lamb is halal to the bone. The animals are slaughtered under the Australian Government Supervised Halal Programme, by Muslims approved by accredited Islamic certifying authorities in accredited processing plants, according to strict Islamic law or Syariah, and in compliance to importing country’s strict halal protocol. This programme is guaranteed under the Australian law, and administered by the Federal Department of Agriculture.
A good source of protein, Australian lamb contains 13 essential nutrients required for good health. Among them are Iron, Zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins.
For more Australian lamb recipe ideas, visit:

Friday, January 05, 2018


Media members who attended the recent “Cooking Norwegian Fjord Trout” Workshop at KDU University College took away some valuable tips and interesting nuggets of information. Thanks to Chef Jimmy Chok who has worked with Norwegian seafood in the past 10 years, we learned the different traits between the fjord trout and salmon such as:

  • The fjord trout head is rounder while the salmon head is sharper. Also the fjord trout flesh appears in deep red-orange hue compared to that of salmon which is a paler shade of orange.

  • The fjord trout grows to a weight of 2-5 kilos – generally a bit smaller than salmon. Although the skin of the fjord trout is similar to salmon, it has a lustrous, silvery colour.

  • Fjord trout meat with white marbling has a healthy sheen and is firm, yet tender and mellow. Taste-wise, the fjord trout boasts a richer flavour with a pristine aftertaste of the sea.
Jon Erik Stenslid, Director, Southeast Asia, Norwegian Seafood Council also shared a video presentation on the farming of Norwegian Fjord Trout in the cold, clear waters of Norway’s fjords that stretched along its coastline.
Her Excellency Gunn Jorid Roset, the Norwegian Ambassador to Malaysia

“Norway is the second largest seafood exporter in the world, and the world’s largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon and fjord trout. Harvesting from the seas has always been an important part of Norwegian culture and history. In fact, fishing was a vital premise for Norwegian pioneers to settle down and live along the cold, windy coastline,” said Stenslid.

“Seafood is a basic food source and an important trade for Norway, giving Norwegians unsurpassed knowledge and experience in handling precious treasures from the sea. Seawater meets fresh water melted from glaciers and snow to form the perfect living conditions in the ocean for the fjord trout. Over the past few years, Norwegian Fjord Trout has become increasingly popular in Malaysia due to its unique taste, health benefits and appealing red colour.”
Her Excellency Gunn Jorid Roset, the Norwegian Ambassador to Malaysia, also graced the workshop and sportingly donned an apron to join in the hands-on cooking workshop.

Before our cooking stint, Chef Jimmy Chok shared various ways to cook fjord trout and salmon, highlighting how sweet, sour and spicy Asian flavours like asam pedas, masak lemak or steaming with soya sauce work well with the fish.

“Never overcook the fish” said the chef. “Both salmon and trout is best half cooked to retain the tender texture and juicy moisture within.”

He then demonstrated how to fry the trout, over medium heat, and served it with mango salsa. We were also treated to delicious samplings of the fjord trout and salmon, served sashimi-style, as well as smoked. It was a revelation for us as the difference in taste and texture was noticeable on the palate.

The Ambassador - a keen cook herself - partnered with Jon Erik Steenslid to cook up a colourful, hearty fjord trout dish. Chasingfooddreams and myself combined our efforts to replicate the same dish Chef Jimmy had demonstrated earlier.
We thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience and went home knowing so much more about the versatility of the Norwegian fjord trout the skill of cooking it properly.
The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) is owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries in Norway. Headquartered in Tromsø, NSC is present in major markets around the world, aiming to increase the value of Norwegian seafood resources. NSC also oversees the administration and use of the trademark “Seafood from Norway”, a joint value for the Norwegian seafood industry.

Because consumers today are increasingly focused on the origin of food, how it is produced and how it meets concerns regarding sustainability, the “Seafood from Norway” trademark addresses such matters. The trademark is a symbol of origin and quality for all Norwegian seafood, farmed or wild caught in Norway’s cold, clear waters; leaving no doubt about the fact that Origin matters.

For more information on Norwegian Seafood, visit:


200g fjord trout
Salt & pepper to taste

120g diced mango
80g pomelo
½ red onion, chopped
1 kaffir lime leaf, chopped
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
Juice from 1 lime  

100ml Thai chilli sauce
½ red onion, chopped
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Juice from 1 lime  

Garnishing: trout roe, micro herbs and cherry tomato


Season trout with salt & pepper. Sear over medium heat until fish fillet is medium rare. Allow to rest.

Mix mango salad ingredients together. Stir well and season to taste.

Mix dressing items evenly and set aside.

To plate, spoon a heap of mango salad onto plate.

Remove skin from trout and use your hands to flake the trout. Place on top of mango salad.

Fry trout skin until crisp. Cut into triangular shards and place on top of trout fillet.

Garnish the plate with trout roe, cherry tomatoes (cut into halves) and micro herbs.

Swirl dressing around the trout using a spoon then sprinkle sesame seeds around it to serve.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Impossible is nothing if you wish to produce an exquisite dessert plate like the one above. The newly opened Pastry Institute of St. Honoré will show you how. Headed by Master Pastry Chef Frederic Oger, full and part-time courses are available.
Tucked away upstairs in a roomy space at TTDI Plaza, the Pastry Institute of St. Honoré offers full-time 3-month Basic Certificate, 6-month Diploma and 9-month Advanced Diploma courses. Practical training can be arranged for students with the institute's associate restaurants, bakeries and hotels.
Passionate home cooks who wish to learn the art of baking, French patisserie and confectionery can also enrol in the Part Time Master Class programmes. According to Chef Frederic, the hands-on programmes are held on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm.
He assured that each class is limited to 12 students only so they can enjoy personal attention and hands-on approach during the Master Class. At the opening, I had a quick taste of how a typical class is conducted when I worked alongside Chef Frederic. He patiently demonstrated each step of the recipe before inviting me to replicate the same task on my own.
It was a good experience as you pick up tips and techniques from the chef as you go along. Sometimes a recipe or cookbook can only take you so far...such part-time courses are ideal for occasional cooks like me, passionate home cooks who wish to hone certain pastry skills or even newbies who have no inkling of what goes on in the kitchen.
Honestly, I was intimidated when I saw the fancy recipe - Plaisire Apricot sounded so high brow but the chef was quick to ease my fears, telling me it was a simple dessert which can easily be made in the home kitchen.
The dessert required different components prepared separately: candied apricot halves, caramel tuile, vanilla chantilly, passionfruit ice cream, coulis, crumbled sablé, caramelised popcorn and micro edible herbs and flowers.
It was almost like magic as slowly but surely how all the various components came together to form the elegant dessert. Going by the current trend of presenting food in a semi-circular fashion like a crescent, the final outcome was a visual feast for the eyes.
I could hardly believe I managed to pull off such artistic plating but under Chef Frederic's tutelage, it wasn't mission impossible. Well, except I discovered I suck at making quenelles out of the passionfruit ice cream! 
Besides Dessert a L'Assiette (plated dessert), you can learn the art of candy-making, designer cakes, speciality breads, macaron, healthy pastries and classic cakes.

For more information, call the Pastry Institute of St. Honoré, tel: 03-7732 9468. Address: C-2-1 & C-2-2, TTDI Plaza, Jalan Wan Kadir 3, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL.

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