The glittering Festival Gala Launch took place in the Grand Ballroom of Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa on Thursday, 29th September 2011 where all 30 restaurants showcased selected dishes from their Festival Menus for the two thousand VIP guests to sample. The stellar guest list included royalty, ambassadors, captains of industry and leading corporate personalities. Add to the mix showbiz entities, social movers and shakers, fashion and lifestyle pace setters, top hoteliers and restaurant owners and you have the Grand Opening of the year. Local and international journalists and food writers were also invited.
“It’s Raining Chefs!” is the theme for this year’s Festival – a deliberately lighthearted tagline aimed at giving the Festival universal appeal. “Malaysia is a relaxed and friendly food destination,” says Dato’ Steve Day, the Festival’s Organising Chairman. “Fine dining here is not only about serving the best cuisines and having top notch service standards – it’s about having fun too!”
The Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) will be held over 31 days from 1st – 31st October 2011 with 28 of the country’s very best restaurants taking part. Into its 11th consecutive year, MIGF is a month-long fine dining festival that draws visitors from all over the globe to taste and appreciate the international standard of cuisines available in Malaysia and the expertise of the country’s top resident chefs. MIGF is an integral part of Tourism Malaysia’s “Fabulous Food 1Malaysia” initiative – a strategy aimed at promoting the country’s unique food capabilities to the world.
From the very start the Festival’s aim has been to make fine dining more affordable, less intimidating, fun and accessible. Prior to MIGF, fine dining restaurants in Malaysia were struggling. The problem had nothing to do with Malaysians not wanting to dine out. They did. But their overwhelming choice was for hawker food and traditional restaurants. Fine dining restaurants were seen as stuffy, pretentious, intimidating and overpriced. However, without a strong local base no restaurant stands a chance of succeeding.
The Festival’s primary aim from the outset therefore was to increase the population of local diners for mutual benefit and then to create a sustained interest in the local fine dining scene. This done, the next step was to establish Malaysia as an international culinary tourism destination of choice.
During the Festival, restaurants put aside their competitive differences, share contacts and come together in a collective marketing effort. Rather than bringing in chefs from abroad for a one-off food promotion, the Festival’s unwavering focus is on the skills of the world-class chefs already residing in Malaysia. This approach emphasizes, to locals and international visitors as well as Travel Agents and Mice Organizers, the high standards of cuisine that exist in Malaysia’s restaurants all-year-round and not just during the Festival month.
Another aim of the Festival is to make fine dining as accessible to as many people as possible and not just to an exclusive few. Specially priced Festival Menus and Festival Offers not only help attract a new generation of diners, but they also persuade existing diners to try different venues and dine out more often. In addition, Festival Awards provide valuable recognition to Malaysia’s top professionals and encourage more people to take up careers in the hospitality sector.
For more information on Malaysia International Gourment Festival 2011, please visit http://www.migf.com