“The goal of Kita has always been about building community. We set out to connect as many people as we can through this festival; chefs, guests, vendors, restaurateurs, and even those on the fringes of the industry. We believe that no one should operate in a silo. We want to build something for our future and it takes a village to raise one. So in this second year, we continue to work towards strengthening this small community that we are raising, to build better relationships, to build wider relationships and to have fun doing what we do as a craft.” says Co-founder of the Kita Food Festival and head chef of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Dewakan, Darren Teoh.
Building on its successful December 2021 debut, Kita Food Festival is back and sweetening the pot with an illustrious star-studded 2022 calendar. The festivities start with a weekend in Langkawi in September, before moving on to the UNESCO heritage city of George Town, Penang in October, then culminating in two jam-packed weekends in Kuala Lumpur at the end of November.
The Kita Food Festival is an annual event offering a range of exceptional dining experiences, masterclasses, TED-like talks, and forums with some of the world’s finest chefs, winemakers and food thinkers. Kita aims to spotlight Malaysia’s emerging place on the global restaurant scene while highlighting the value of culinary heritage and ethical producers, offering inspiration and skills for the younger generation of food producers and building a platform for thought leadership and community.
In 2022, Kita Food festival will bring in the best chefs and culinary thinkers from South and Southeast Asia for a range of events with local chefs and restaurateurs. Guest chefs have been carefully chosen for their outlook and innovation or respect for sustainability, sourcing and championing the culinary heritage of their respective cultures.
LANGKAWI: 23th – 25th SEPTEMBER
The festival launches on the tropical island of Langkawi, where chef Prateek Sadhu, previously of Mumbai’s famed restaurant, Masque, and Dewakan Chef Darren Teoh will debut at The Datai Langkawi, one of the country’s foremost luxury resorts.
There are 3 events in store. First, chef Prateek will collaborate with Darren Teoh, plus The Datai Chef de Cuisine Chai Chun Boon in a 6-hands dinner, with each chef cooking two dishes from their respective cultures; the following night, a fine dining dinner by Chef Prateek displays his unique take on Indian cuisine in a degustation menu at The Dining Room. The weekend will wrap up with a unique masterclass by chef Darren Teoh, who will lead a small group of eight on a tour through The Datai Langkawi’s permaculture gardens, harvesting leaves, flowers, buds and roots to be used in a hands-on cooking class at The Dapur, which will culminate with lunch at The Gulai House.
GEORGE TOWN, PENANG: 14th – 16th OCTOBER
In October, Kita Food Festival reconvenes in Penang – food haven and one of CNN’s best places to visit in 2022. As part of the events planned, Friday 14th October will see Chef Johnson Wong paired up with Andrew Martin from Bangkok’s 1-Michelin star 80:20 at Gēn.
Next, Au Jardin’s Chef-proprietor Kim Hock Su will team up with Aitor Jeronimo Orive of Singapore’s 1-Michelin star Basque Kitchen by Aitor for a sumptuous spread that draws from both chefs’ expertise in analogous French and Basque cuisines.
The four will then work together, alongside a coterie of Penang’s finest Chefs, including Mathijs Nanne of Suffolk House, Nurilkarim Razha of Jawi House, Tan Hong Tat (aka Wagyu) of Communal by Gēn and CC Lee of JuJu Lounge & Restaurant for The Great Mezze, at George Town’s popular art gallery cum cafe-bar ChinaHouse. This casual Sunday mashup will see teams of chefs serving a selection of hot and cold mezze from locally sourced producers against a buzzing backdrop of art, cocktails and a live band.
KUALA LUMPUR: 19th – 28th NOVEMBER
The last two weekends in November present the most packed schedule, including a series of dinners at some of the city’s foremost restaurants, amongst them Akar Dining, Dewakan, Ember, Entier, Hide, Joloko and Shhhbuuuleee. Chefs include Rishi Naleendra from 2-Michelin star Cloudstreet, Ivan Brehm from 1-Michelin star Nouri, Jeremy Gillon from 1-Michelin star Restaurant JAG, Eelke Plasmeijer and Ray Adriansyah of Bali’s hyper-local Locavore and Jordy Navarra of Manila’s Toyo Eatery, #94 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
This year, the festival will also encompass ‘Conversations’, a series of TED- style talks and panel discussions by innovators and business leaders in the food and beverage industry. Touching on everything from sourcing and sustainability, to dealing with no-shows diplomatically, Kita Conversations aims to build a thought-leadership platform, and ultimately inspire, enrich and unite the community.
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You can book your spot for the Langkawi and Penang events at www.kitafoodfestival.com; Kuala Lumpur tickets are yet to come. Stay tuned for further updates and finer details of the programme at the official website and follow Kita Food Festival on Instagram or Facebook for latest updates.