Last year, I received an email from my cooking guest who asked if I want to host Karina and Kasey in Penang. I did not know who they are but was told they were the winners of NZ Master chef and had their own TV program called Kitchen Diplomacy. I googled them and read about these 2 interesting gals who had done so well.
I actually met Kasey in 2014 but totally forgotten about it. She came to the dinner John Lee had when we went to Whakatane in 2014. Then in 2016, when I went to Yantai for the Gourmand Award, I met up with Kasey and Karina in person.It was really nice as they know of the coming visit to Penang to cook with me.
The day came of their visit to my humbled home where I teach cooking, I excitedly prepared all the ingredients for them. It is nice to finally see them in person, spent many hours cooking and chatting until the name stuck. I am home cook aunty they came to cook with.
I taught, shared like I always do as they listened to the instructions given. Aunty happily shared alot of tips and they at some point, missed their mum. Oh dear, was I so bossy?
Kasey and Karina loves the Nasi Ulam I taught them. It is a rice dish seasoned with powders of shrimp paste, toasted dried shrimp and deep fried salted fish with pepper not forgetting some sugar.
Then they had to wash and cut finely 6 types of fresh herbs to be mixed into the seasoned rice. As they cut the herbs, they remarked that the scenario was like they are at home under the watchful eyes of their mum or grandmother. I tried not to sound too strict but they were good chefs.
The highlight of the trip was me getting invited to lunch in Chris One house (owner of 7 Terraces, Penang).
Karina told me that when they wanted to end their Malaysian trip, is by cooking for the Penang folks to eat what they have learn in Malaysia. So if you watched their documentary, you will catch them cooking for us. After the meal, they confessed that, they didn’t realise what they got into.
We asked them to explain and found they were nervous to think they can get away cooking Malaysian food for Penang locals to eat. For us, hungry locals, we were happy to be invited to Chris Ong house to dine. It was a beautiful house, elaborated decorated by Chris himself.
The lunch went well, we got served first with Nasi Ulam and sambal prawns. Followed by Malaysian Laksa they learned from a KL Chef. Then a dessert of banana coated with batter and deep fried served with blue flower jelly and ice cream.
For me, it was one of the best documentries I have appeared as they tried their best to served us authentic food cooked by Kiwis gals, so the flavors are 20% of what we usually would cook. I then realised that only us Malaysian eat very robust and heavily seasoned food. But that is how we like it. As for Kasey and Karina, I love that they used our recipes to the fullest.