My mom has been a good cook for the family when we were still young. She's retired now and we don't cook dinner during the weekdays lately as we order home cooked dishes from another family. Saves time.
My mom do agree that somehow men are seen to be the best cook around as you seldom see top chefs in hotels helmed by ladies. Moreover, TV shows seldom show a lady being a top chef either. Maybe we haven't caught the right show that shows a lady top chef yet.
However, there are two Malaysian guys who have made it into the top listing of well known restaurants now. Their restaurants have been listed in the Michelin Guide which is based in France. It's really a coveted honour for a restaurant to be listed in the Michelin Guide which is the Who's Who in the food / cuisine industry.
The first Malaysian-owned restaurant to have gained that honour is Kai Mayfair restaurant, operated by Bernard Yeoh with its head chef being Alex Chow, in London. His restaurant earned the highly rated Michelin star (only a maximum of three stars are awarded to each restaurant) back in 2009. His restaurant has been recognised again in the Michelin Guide Great Britain 2010.
Kai Mayfair is basically a chinese restaurant and Bernard Yeoh's wish is to offer something different in the Cantonese dishes which will also enable the public to have a better culinary understanding of a variety of chinese dishes.
Besides the Michelin Guide star rating, Kai Mayfair was voted the Best Chinese Restaurant in London by Harden’s Restaurant Guide (Britain) in 2009. From 2002 to 2005, Kai Mayfair was recognised as the Best Chinese Restaurant in Britain in a survey organised by Zagat Survey.
The second Malaysian-owned restaurant to have earned this prestigious rating is based in New York itself. The owner, Michael Bong and wife Kathy, operates the Laut restaurant since 2008. The restaurant has been listed in the Michelin Guide New York City 2011. Both of these owners are chefs themselves.
The restaurant serves Malaysia's staple food, favourite dishes from Malacca and Thai dishes as well. You can even order online which you can either pick it up later or have it delivered to your doorstep. Their main aim is to expose the Americans to the nation of Malaysia and its unique cuisine.
The owners own a Japanese restaurant by the name of Mizu Sushi which is also located in New York. In recognition of Michael Bong's efforts, he was awarded the Master Chef award by the Governor of Malacca last year.
It's not easy to obtain the Michelin Guide's recognition as the Food Inspector will come in unnoticed or as a spy. Not only that, you have to monitor your food quality, ambience, service, etec in order to maintain the star rating for the following year. Just when I thought food industry was easy.
If you so happend to be in London or New York, don't miss the chance of meeting up with these Malaysians owners in the two said restaurants.
Reading: AsiaOne and Star articles on the above restaurants
Tags: Bernard Yeoh, Alex Chow, Kai Mayfair, London, Michael Bong, Kathy Bong, Laut, Mizu Sushi, New York, Michelin Guide, Chef, Cook, Malaysian Cuisine, Malaysian Dishes, Malaysian Restaurant, Chinese Restaurant