Southeast Asia’s Culinary Culture

Southeast Asia’s Culinary Culture

Food-lovers rejoice as Kita Food Festival returns to Malaysia and Singapore for its fourth installment, kicking off in Kuala Lumpur this September, then Singapore in January 2025. This annual celebration of Southeast Asia’s culinary culture will see the finest chefs and industry pioneers from across the region gather for a series of Four Hand Dinners and Kitchen Takeovers, culminating in a Big Sunday Barbecue and F&B industry thought leadership events.


This year, the Kuala Lumpur Weekender will introduce A Food Affair on 7th September, which is an evolution of its Kita Conversations symposium on innovation and authority in food. The full day event will include keynote speakers and fireside talks by food experts from around the region; a series of interactive masterclasses in both food, wine and beverages; as well as a vibrant marketplace with artisan food and produce from local farms and producers.


Southeast Asia’s Culinary Culture
Top chefs from around the region with be at Kita Food Festival.


Kita Food Festival is the brainchild of Darren Teoh, chef patron of Malaysia’s only two-Michelin star restaurant, Dewakan; Leisa Tyler, food journalist and owner of Singapore-based farm to table company, Weeds & More; and Adrian Yap, whose companies, Tiffin Culinary and Freeform, lead the way for Malaysia-based F&B-centric pop-up, arts and music events. Kita Food Festival’s goal is to highlight Southeast Asia’s emerging culinary scene as well as inspire a new generation of talents by exposing them to a community of chefs, producers, and game changers in the industry.


“For Kita’s next chapter, we aim to dig deeper into the narratives of local, innovation and sustainability. Malaysia will host guest chefs from across the Asian region, with dinners focusing on true farm to table relationships, or modernisations of a local cuisine and masterclasses and talks exploring topics such as ancient fermentation techniques. The Singapore leg will be centred around the future of food globally, a nod to its growing status as an international city, but with its roots still very much in Southeast Asia,” said Leisa Tyler, co-founder of Kita Food Festival, on this year’s festival.


Southeast Asia’s Culinary Culture
Kita Co-Founders: Darren Teoh, Leisa Tyler and Adrian-Yap.


The Malaysian dining series will include a lot of storytelling and strong narrative events, including Mystery Box menus that highlight local producers and terroir, to exploring the depths of cuisine of different cultures. Top chefs and personalities include Prin Polsuk of Samrub Samrub Thai (Bangkok, Thailand); Ben Devlin of Pipit in Pottsville, New South Wales, Australia; Hans Christian of August, Jakarta, Indonesia; Vanika Choudhary of Noon, Mumbai, India; Pete Smit of Dirty Supper, Singapore; and home cook Internet sensation Anis Nabilah of Malaysia.


The festival has also brought back its young chef mentoring programme, Kita Horizons, for its third year, this time on a larger scale. Partnering with Danish dairy company, Arla Foods, Kita Horizons sees fifteen young, motivated chefs experience parts of the industry that they would otherwise not gain access to.


Southeast Asia’s Culinary Culture
Join chef masterclasses in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.


Director and co-founder of Kita Food Festival, Darren Teoh, added, “Kita Horizons stands as a beacon of change within our industry. The programme addresses critical disparities between emerging cooks and their culinary roots by fostering a deeper appreciation for food sourcing and cultivation.”


Tickets for the 7th September events in Kuala Lumpur will go on sale on 31st July for Kita subscribers and 1st August for the public



Source: Campbell PR.

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