Hobnobbing with two of the world’s ‘dishiest’ chefs is what she’s been doing recently. Not only did Ipoh’s own celebrity chef Julie Song get to be one of the judges of Gordon Ramsay (that ‘enfant terrible’ Celebrity chef or the one known for his ‘F’ expletives on his programme), cooking Nasi Lemak for one of his episodes in Kuala Lumpur where he competed against five other local experts on preparing the national dish and came in second; but she also had the honour of being guide and demonstration chef for Todd English the American Celebrity Chef who was in Ipoh in December on a shoot for his TV programme which is regularly featured on Astro’s Asian Food Channel.
Todd, who has four restaurants in the US, was also shooting an episode on a food trail of Malaysia with Matrade in New York. This TV episode will be shown next summer in US.
Julie took Todd on arrival to Gua Tempurung, to check the fresh flowing waters which is credited with creating the delicacy of our Ipoh Hor Fun and the plump juicy crunchiness of our bean sprouts. Todd was fascinated with the natural cave and flowing waters which he actually tasted. Following this cave sojourn, Julie took Todd to the Clearwater Sanctuary where he learned how to make Rendang Tok of Perak from one of their chefs there.
Finally, a much needed rest at Indulgence where he stayed in the Modern Baroque room the Qatrynka. The following day, Julie set up a temporary kitchen table in the main restaurant (for the TV cameras) and since it was a local cuisine trail he wanted to feature, she taught him how to make Ipoh Chicken Hor Fun, using a few tips from Margarita Lee our Ipoh Echo’s Recipe columnist. Judy Chin kindly made her special nyonya kuih of Serimuka to serve him as dessert which he enjoyed. On tasting the Ipoh Chicken Hor Fun, he declared his conviction that the water is responsible: for the texture of the noodles as he had never tasted noodles that silky and smooth and bean sprouts so crunchy and plump.
In addition to playing host to celebrity chefs, Julie Song was happy to announce that she has won, for the second time, the HAPA (Hospitality Asia Platinum Award) 2010-2012 Best Western Cuisine Chef. This will qualify her for the Regional Series next year, a tough competition and one which she says will keep her on her toes.
During her acceptance speech for the award, she thanked the HAPA judges for coming from Singapore and KL to Ipoh adding that “Indulgence will always be Ipoh’s very own”.
See Foon Chan-Koppen