Kuching city brings ‘terung asam’ to the table at Thailand’s gastronomic exchange

Chef Achang (left) turns terung asam into a luxurious dessert as the Thai moderator, Narong, looks on.

KUCHING, Nov 18: Unesco Creative Cities Network (UCCN) Kuching delegation demonstrated Sarawak’s unique indigenous ingredients and culinary skills during their meeting with other cities of gastronomy at an exchange event in Thailand recently.

During the event, Sarawakian chef Achang Libat of Gypsy Badger demonstrated terung asam in two ways – traditionally, as a fresh fish soup, and also with a twist as he presented his terung asam cobbler with rice and coconut crumble and gula apong butterscotch.

He also showed a range of Sarawak ingredients, including dabai, daun ubi and heirloom rice varieties at the event as he recounted his experience experimenting with Sarawak’s most famous produce to both an online and in-person audience.

Apart from Chef Achang, China’s Huaian City of Gastronomy demonstrated their amazing knife skills while Phuket City of Gastronomy was represented by the Chef and owner of Blue Elephant restaurant who elevated a heritage curry with foie gras and also a range of community chefs, both from Phuket and also from Phetchaburi City of Gastronomy, with fresh Thai salads and flavourful curries, all based on their local produce.

The demonstrations also featured a showcase from Thai iron chef Chef Ar (Teeyasoontranon Teerapat) who experimented with toddy palm curry, one of Phetchaburi’s signature ingredients.

UCCN Kuching chief Dato Wee Hong Seng said the event served as a platform for Kuching city to share with its network partners across the region, building relationships for the benefit of its own gastronomic sector and bringing back knowledge and information that can go towards building its own programmes going forward.

“We have been able to expose one of our up-and-coming chefs to an international audience, along with our produce, techniques and creativity. We are working towards giving similar opportunities to other chefs and stakeholders in the future,” he said in a statement issued by UCCN Kuching today.

The Kuching delegation poses for a photo with representatives of the Phuket City of Gastronomy.

At the same time, UCCN Kuching strategic director Karen Shepherd took part in various panel discussions involving Phetchaburi, Phuket and Sukhothai cities in Thailand, alongside Huaian City in China and Tsuruoka in Japan.

These involved a presentation of Kuching city’s approach and profile as well as discussions about how future collaboration could be achieved with various stakeholders, including Phetchaburi province, Phuket and also event organisers DASTA – the Thai National organisation in charge of Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration.

“Kuching is currently aiming to prepare a range of collaborative gastronomic tourism products and we will be able to apply lessons learned from this trip to a Sarawak context.

“UCCN Kuching is calling on any community tourism providers who have a gastronomic angle to contact us. Durian, rice, sago, coffee, jungle produce, sustainable aquaculture – all of these could produce tours that we can promote through the UCCN network,” she said.

For more information, please contact uccnkuching@kuchingcreativecity.com. — DayakDaily