By Mei Kuan
The first ever Ipoh Food Fest By The River at the Kinta Riverwalk which kicked off on Saturday, April 27 was a hive of activity with myriads of bazaar stalls, eco booths, competitions, workshops, sharing sessions and demonstrations integrated with musical entertainment and good vibes.
Jam-packed from the morning with both tourists and locals of all ethnicities, there was something for everyone to try, buy or take home at the outdoor celebration. You name it, they had it – all made from ingredients found in the Silver State and at discounted rates to boot.
“This food festival is about us, Ipohites and Perakeans, celebrating who we are and what we are and a big part of that in Ipoh is all about food. Thus, we are celebrating our culture, heritage and food. Ipoh as a city and Perak as a state, we pride ourselves on our culture, art, history and food – four fundamental elements that make up contemporary leisure life of Ipoh,” Howard Lee Chuan How, the Executive Councillor for Youth and Sports Development enthused.
“The state government has a clear agenda to build on and make real an economy of tomorrow where we put human needs front and centre of it all. We coined it the human economy. Some of those sub-sectors that are going to exist regardless of whether or not robots are going to take over from humans are the food and beverage, leisure and hospitality industries. Thus the state government is heavily investing in these industries so we will survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution. That is why we are here to celebrate ourselves,” he added.
Present were Wong May Ing, the Executive Councillor for Women and Family Development, Character Development and Social Welfare and Tan Kar Hing, Executive Councillor for Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The successful Ipoh Food Fest was the joint effort of three Executive Councillor offices (Howard, May Ing and Kar Hing).
Equally admirable was how there was plenty of bins in accessible spots which in turn encouraged festival-goers to clean up after themselves and recycle accordingly. Plus, the cleaning crew was on deck for any plogging.
One highlight of the programme was the fitting launch of SeeFoon Chan-Koppen’s The Foodie’s Guide to Ipoh’s Best Eats 2 preceded by a question and answer session hosted by notable emcee, KT Pillai.
“It was a labour of love for Ipoh which has helped the tourism scene very much and for a year we were working flat out. We do go into the nooks and crannies of Ipoh and discover really wonderful places that even locals have not heard of,” SeeFoon explained.
“Definitely its homemade quality to most of the food and nothing is pre-prepared,” she pointed out when asked on what seems to make Ipoh food so special.
Priced at RM30, readers can find out more about the much-awaited book by calling the Ipoh Echo office at 05 543 9726.
Another meaningful programme spotted during the festival was the Dine in the Dark in which diners were blindfolded to let them experience firsthand the challenges faced by those with vision impairment.