As Malaysians, it is undoubtedly that we love our food so much right? Here is the 10 Malaysian chefs that you need to know about. They have not just only been serving good food, but also introduces Malaysian food to the world.
A Malaysian big name chef, Chef Wan is the most acclaimed chef in Malaysia. Also known as Dato’ Redzuawan bin Ismail, Chef Wan is more known for his time on television in his own cooking show. He was a white-collar accountant before he followed his passion for food and cooking. Chef Wan won the Best Celebrity Television Chef of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2009 and many awards in his lifetime. After seeing the prominence of Asian dishes in western countries, he decided to advance Malaysia and other Southeast Asian cuisines to other countries, by using ingredients from the countries itself. As the Tourism Malaysia’s culinary ambassador, he believes that his spirit in cooking can unite Malaysians as one.
Chef Michael Wong is one of the top 10 chefs in Malaysia. He is the Chinese Head Chef for Prince Hotel and Residence Kuala Lumpur’s Chinese Eatery, Tai Zi Heen. He developed an interest in food and cooking since a very young age and always helped his mother in the kitchen. With more than 26 years of professional cooking and kitchen management experience, he brings the Cantonese food into the realm of contemporary cuisine with dishes that emphasise original flavours with a current twist. One of Chef Wong’s signature is the Tiger Prawn with garlic mayonnaise.
Anis Nabilah is an international celebrity chef and media personality which is acclaimed as one of the most accomplished young celebrity chefs in the world. Chef Anis started her passion when she was still a kid, watching her mother and six sisters cook. She was then graduated with a Diploma in Culinary Arts from the Food Institute of Malaysia (FIM) in 2007. Anis has competed in a number of universal cooking competitions held in Malaysia and has won numerous awards. This talented chef also hosted 35 cooking shows across all the main television networks in Malaysia.
Born and raised in Ipoh, Malaysia, Ping grew up with amazing food around her and was inspired by her mother’s cooking skills. Even though she has lived in the United Kingdom for almost 20 years, she still looks into her hometown for her cooking inspiration. Ping Coombes was the winner for the 2014 UK MasterChef. Since then, she has became a Malaysia Kitchen Ambassador, promoting Malaysian food not only in the UK but also abroad through various media channels and festivals. She also launches cookery classes and regularly collaborates with well-known chefs and restaurants in hosting pop ups.
Growing up in a small village in Penang, Azalina is the fifth generation of the Indian Muslim community. She opened a restaurant in Twitter’s headquarter in San Francisco’s Bay Area. Eventually, she worked in Sydney, Hong Kong and Bangkok before finally accepting her destiny in the United States. Azalina sold crepes and kaya-glazed banana fritters at a market in San Francisco to make a living. Her dishes such as nasi lemak, hokkien mee and other Malaysian food had informally turned her into the representative for Malaysian food in the Bay Area. Azalina even had the opportunity to cater food for the former president of the US, Barack Obama. And now, Azalina is recognised as Top 10 Chefs in Malaysia.
Chef Simpson Wong is a native of Malaysia, a contemporary chef. He is a self-taught chef, and he learned much from helping his mother in the kitchen. One of his restaurant, Jefferson, was being featured in Sex and The City for 15 minutes. However, it had to be closed down after Simpson suffered a heart attack in 2005. After his recovery, Simpson opened Cafe Asean and Chomp Chomp in New York City. Although the menu features Nyonya chap chye, asam fish are labelled as Singaporean cuisine, it has Malaysia written all over it. Simpson is one of the Top Chefs in Malaysia.
Born as the son of a Malaysian born Chinese father, Adam is a Malaysian Australian chef. He has won the MasterChef Australia in 2010, which was the most watched non-sporting event in Australian television history. His dishes incorporate Asian flavours and ingredients with the classic western techniques. Adam is now a chef, author of cookbooks and television presenter. His Instagram feed is filled with delicious-looking dishes.
Poh Ling Yeow
Poh Ling Yeow began her cooking journey as a contestant in the first season of MasterChef Australia in 2009. Although she didn’t win the title, this Malaysian-born Australian chef started her own cooking show, “Poh’s Kitchen”. She even published cookbooks and presented a cooking travel show. In 2014, she also collaborated with Malaysia Airlines to introduce her signature dish, Nyonya Chicken Curry on their Australia and New Zealand flights.
Born in Penang, Malaysia, Norman opened his first restaurant in 2006 in the United Kingdom. After graduated with Honours in Quantity Surveying, he worked in the construction industry for 9 years before working as a full time chef. Norman was featured in the MasterChef Malaysia, BBC’s Tom Kerridge Best Ever Dishes and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. He even published cookbooks and hosted numerous TV shows. Norman now teaches Malaysian and Southeast Asian cuisines at the top cookery schools in the UK and Netherlands.
Born in Malaysia, Diana migrated to Melbourne in 2010 and won the MasterChef Australia in 2017. She plans to use her $250,000 prize to open a restaurant serving wholesome meals with fusion flavours and Malaysian influences. After winning MasterChef, Diana has been working to promote tourism in Malaysia, launched her column in Delicious Magazine, and demonstrating her cooking at many events in Melbourne and Malaysia. She is definitely the new rising star in the culinary industry.
These are just some of the talented chefs that we are proud to have. If you know any other Malaysian chefs we might not have discovered yet, do comment below and share with us!