Saturday, June 16, 2012

Korean chef Edward Kwon came to KL ask for roti canai, satay

Edward Kwon is having a live cooking demo of the dish Galbi Jjim.
KOREAN chef Edward Kwon came to Kuala Lumpur recently, he was taken to the hotel’s coffee house and, apparently, the first items he ordered were roti canai and satay.

Obviously, local street food is a hot favourite with this celebrity chef, who was the former head chef at Burj al-Arab in Dubai.

Kwon was such a big hit during his time at Burj al-Arab that celebrities such as Barbra Streisand and Madonna gushed over his cooking.

Even former US president George W. Bush was said to have gone into the kitchen to personally shake his hand.

Kwon is also a renowned celebrity chef in Korea and was the main judge of cooking competition show, Yes Chef, which was shown on Life Inspired (Astro B.yond 706).

He can currently be seen on Life Inspired’s original production, EdVentures in Asia, which shows him travelling to several Asian cities, including Kuala Lumpur, on a food adventure.

Chef Kwon in the Manila episode of Edventures in Asia.

In the 13-episode series, Kwon gets to not only sample and learn more about the local food of the cities in various countries but also meet up with some of the best local chefs and try his hand at recreating dishes with his own Korean culinary influences thrown in.

EdVentures also shows a more casual side to the chef who is seen having lots of fun hosting this series that premiered on Life Inspired (one of the two channels that are part of Astro Lifestyle HD) on May 27.

During a recent press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Kwon was asked which country among the many he had visited had the tastiest cuisine.

“My friend, that’s a tricky question. I’m now in Malaysia so, of course, it’s Malaysia,” Kwon replied, amidst laughter.

“Seriously, my greatest food memory was in Mongolia. There was nothing there and I was really shocked because I had to cook!”

He said at the place he was taken to, there was no heat or fire and there was neither gas nor electric stoves.

Kwon told the guide he did not know what to do and the guide promptly put some stones together and inserted some dried cow dung (which Kwon refers to as ‘cow poo poo’).

“He broke [the cow dung] and made me smell it,” recalled Kwon. “There was no smell. He then set it on fire.” Cow dung is used in place of fuel in Mongolia.

Using a specially-made pot, the guide cooked some lamb and Kwon said it was the best lamb dish he had ever tasted.

Kwon said unlike regular travel-cum-food shows where the chefs go from one restaurant to another sampling the food, in EdVentures, he spent three days in each city where he was supposed to recreate some of the local popular dishes with his personal touch.

He also had to do English and Korean versions of the series.

So what does this renowned chef consider comfort food?

“Comfort food? Junk food!” exclaimed Kwon. “I would say hamburgers, noodles, sandwiches, French fries and pizzas. I’m a big fan of them, even instant noodles.

“People think that being a chef means you get to eat great food all the time. Actually, you don’t have much time and that’s why a lot of us are getting skinnier and skinnier!”

EdVentures in Asia is aired on Sundays at 9pm on Life Inspired (Astro B.yond channel 706).

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