The gong was sounded by Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin,  Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture, launching Food and Hotel Malaysia 2017 and Culinaire 2017 today at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Datuk Mas Ermieyati spoke of the FHM series as a food and hotel event of international stature, with the participation of more than 1,200 companies from more than 50 nations, with the presence of 12 international pavilions.

“Events such as FHM have both a direct and indirect positive impact on Malaysia’s tourism and hospitality industry,” she said. “It’s one of the main drivers of the Malaysian economy, which contributed RM73.3 billion to the nation’s coffers in 2016.”

She commended Culinaire Malaysia 2017, and was pleased to see Malaysia’s chefs battle it out in a series of competitions in conjunction with FHM.

She said Malaysian-based chefs have been making waves around the world and she is confident the day will come when we have our own Michelin-rated chefs.  She was taken on a tour of FHM, stopping by at the Japan Pavilion and other exhibitors along the way.

At the opening, Datuk Azzat Kamaludin, Director of UBM MES spoke of the staggering 23,000 trade visitors from 53 countries, and the 20,000 sq metres of exhibition space at FHM 2017.

“We also have the return of Culinaire Malaysia 2017 which always turns out to be a crowd puller. “There are more goodies to look forward to this year, including live cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, a wine village, a halal workshop and a chocolate pavilion.

“This year we are honoured to host the official launch of Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018, a biannual global event, bringing in chefs from more than 100 countries to Malaysia, from 11 to 14 July 2018.”

Culinaire Malaysia 2017 is a platform for aspiring chefs to challenge themselves, said Sam Cheah, President of the Malaysian Association of Hotels. “There are 1,200 participants from 10 countries and 37 classes of competitions. We started at 3am today with that for the cold display (tapas and appetisers).

“This event Is aimed at discovering, cultivating and motivating chefs. Since it started in 1993, award winners have emerged as industry leaders and role models to culinary talents.”

Two new classes of competition have been introduced in this edition of Culinaire Malaysia – the Malaysia Global Chef 2017 and the MLA Golden Bull Culinary Challenge. “This is to select the Malaysian team for the Malaysian chef finals in July 2018 in conjunction with the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018.”

FHM 2017 and Culinaire Malaysia will end on 29 September.

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