Kuching Foodish Trip, Chass bring storytellers on journey of Kuching’s gastronomy

Goh (standing second left) addressing participants during a visit to the 150-year-old Lau Ya Keng premises known for its food stalls in Kuching. Also seen on his right is Drury-Wee.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, May 16: Four food lovers have designed a special trip for a select group of storytellers to Kuching, the first Malaysian city to be recognised as a Unesco’s creative city of gastronomy, from May 14 to May 18.

According to the Kuching Foodish Trip project founder Gerald Goh, when Kuching joined some 49 cities around the world which have been recognised under the Unesco Creative Cities Network (UCCN) for their food heritage and diversity, he took note that the city must keep up with its reputation to stay on the list.

Thus, he and his friends Kueh Keng Seng (project planner), Vancelee Teng (creative director) and Albert Lou (curator) came up with an idea to create a special culinary trip which combines Kuching’s unique delicacies with the incorporation of architecture, native culture, creativity and education.

“We also bring in Sarawak-born chef Ryan Tok, who during the trip, will come up with a star-rated menu (food) and we will make sure that the invented food or recipes stay with the participating restaurants.

“From here, their respective staff (of the restaurants) would actually learn from this collaboration and try to bring the food and serving quality to the next level,” he told DayakDaily when met at a welcoming dinner at Roots Bistronomy, Kuching Old Courthouse on May 14.

The group in collaboration with Culinary Heritage and Arts Society Sarawak (Chass) has invited about 20 VIPs for the trip whom they believed would become the next storytellers of Kuching’s food heritage and diversity to peninsula folk or even the world.

Among the VIPs are Michelin-awarded chef Ryan Tok, chef Johnson Wong from Penang, pastry chef-cum-food stylist Karen Chai, award-winning architect Alan Teh and award-winning photographer Zung Heng.

Goh also hoped to extend the Kuching Foodish Trip initiative to the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts and look into the feasibility of implementing three to four such trips a year.

“Each trip would have a different batch of influential people but the objective remains the same where we want to offer an extraordinary experience to Sarawak with regards to the creative city recognition,” he said, adding that the project would serve as a positive development for the State’s tourism industry after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also present at the dinner were Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee and Chass chairwoman Datin Dona Drury-Wee. – DayakDaily