Award-winning chef delights in local fare, encourages table talk

Seremban choice: (Clockwise from top left) Soup beef noodle, sotong mee,  regular beef noodles and cendol. Malaysians are fortunate to have such wonderful variety, says award-winning chef Emmanuel Stroobant.  — File pic
Seremban choice: (Clockwise from top left) Soup beef noodle, sotong mee, regular beef noodles and cendol. Malaysians are fortunate to have such wonderful variety, says award-winning chef Emmanuel Stroobant. — File pic

KOTA TINGGI, Dec 10 — A renowned world chef drives 60 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur to Seremban just to have his favourite Malaysian dish, beef noodle, which he says, has the finest taste among many Malaysian dishes.

Despite his vast experience in cooking excellent dishes and with lots of titles under his belt, the humble chef Emmanuel Stroobant still enjoys and believes in local Malaysian dishes.

The Relais & Chateux’s award-winning Michelin Grand Chef said Malaysians are very fortunate to have such wonderful traditional recipes from all walks of life and races, where some of it can be enjoyed together.

However, he said the current trend that saw no more people talking at dining tables has become a concern for him.

“I see a lot of people, mostly younger generation, they don’t even talk anymore. They are on their phone all the time, that also include my children. What I would like to bring back (through my cooking) is the spirit of sharing and by bringing food to table, people will start talking about it.

“If we stop talking at the dining table, we may lose our recipes and our culture, (a reminder) for me and my fellow Malaysians, that is what we want to preserve,” said the culinary connoisseur to Bernama in an interview here recently.

Stroobant, who is also the father of three children, was here recently for the Desaru Coast Gourmet Series, where he presented iconic flavours of Malaysian cuisine through his own interpretation, using his vast experiences while living in Asia for a couple of years, including Malaysia.

“It is about how creative can we be without changing the roots of the dishes itself so we don’t want to create a new dish but we want to see how we can do something different with it without changing its nature,” said the Belgian.

During the first gourmet series, visitors were presented with a selection of exquisite food, from a different presentation of Nasi Kerabu and braised short ribs which was inspired from local beef rendang.

Meanwhile, Desaru Development One Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Roslina Arbak said the gourmet series by chef Stroobant was the first from a six series dining programme, planned in coming months.

“Being a multiracial country, Malaysians are known for their food and diverse cultures and our multi-ethnic diversity gives us a continuous fusion of colourful flavours.

“The Desaru Coast Gourmet Series is purposefully designed and curated to promote the beauty of Malaysian diversity through our prestige cuisines,” she said. — Bernama