Somewhere around the planet, a Rafflesia blooms, a male praying mantis is getting his head lobbed off by his female counterpart mid-coitus, a drunk crashes his car into a curb, a PC hangs rendering an underpaid overworked employee to stab himself on the jugular with a pencil, chalk written words are being wiped off a classroom blackboard, a child discovered his dad's stash of midget fetish pornography.... and a chef makes a visit to an alien country to promote his cook book.
This is Stephen.
Stephen takes solid pictures.
Stephen invited me for a free makan.
Stephen is great.
This is Marco.
Marco owns a pasta restaurant in Switzerland.
Marco cooked for us very, very tasty pasta.
Marco is great.
Marco was at the Seri Pacific hotel for a few weeks to promote his pasta and cookbook. A few of us were fortunate enough to be invited for a tasting and a meet & greet session with this Italian chef. He cooked 4 types of pasta for us that night. 2 creamy types, and 2 tomato based types.
These pastas had several interesting ingredients one would never ever think of putting in.
SUGAR IN CHEESE?
He must be mad!
He's gonna mutate into a hairy green monster and EAT US ALL!
To my utter surprise they were absolutely yummilicious! My favourite dish was the vegetarian bak choy and soy sprouts pasta because of its distinct tangy tomato flavoured sauce - and this is coming from a carnivore.
Marco was saying that he usually puts in a healthy dash of white wine into his cooking to bring out the aroma of his sauces, but he wasn't allowed to do so in Malaysia since it's a Muslim country and all that and wouldn't want to risk having his hands chopped off by the authorities or something. Sigh. Spoilsports.
As Italian pasta is meant to be more dry, the Swiss-based chef mentioned that it is unusual for him to drench his pasta in that much sauce, and only does so specially in Malaysia as he noticed that the local people seem to like their food to be literally swimming in sauce. Yes. Please. Flood plate. With Sauce. We Like. A lot. I heard that our esophagus has mutated in such a way that when it comes into contact with even a single atom of DRY FOOD, it implodes. I wouldn't know this for a fact though, and I dare not risk trying to find it out myself.
The new cookbook itself is lovely piece of work. His adventures around the world has inspired him to create a fusion of East meet West recipes (OMG! Petai in Pasta!). Regular recipes are even modified with a couple of exotic ingredients to give it the extra OOMPH! His cook book, a 10 year dream in fruition, is a collection of some of those interesting recipes.
Malaysia was his first cook book promo pit stop. Why Malaysia? He said that it's because Malaysia had so such a mind boggling array of food which makes it all the more easier to introduce his original pasta recipes to her people.
Which, I think, is a pretty diplomatic and subtle way of saying: You are a bunch of pigs that'll eat anydamnthing that's thrown to you.
Hahaha I kid. He didn't mean that at all.
But we ARE pigs, are we not?
I went through the book and I must say, for a lack of a better word, it is simple yet beautiful. Every page is filled with explosion of colours from the beautifully taken pictures of people, places and food. The recipes are easy enough for any kitchen retard to follow, I mean how much can you fuck up PASTA? The ingredients are also easily available locally and don't necessarily cost an arm, a leg and your first newborn, which is a good thing. The other nice thing is that the entire book itself was produced IN Malaysia.
*sudden bout of patriotism*
*proceeds to stand up to sing the Negaraku*
*quickly sits down again upon really weird looks from mum*
The 68 paged book will be made available soon in major bookstores for about RM40 something.
Marco also plans to open a restaurant some time next year. And this time, he promises that there will be WINE in his food.
KYSpeaks - without whom I wouldn't have gotten an invite.
Kel Li & Natalie - who brings the term "camwhore" into a whole new level.
Food Lover - who gave us a ride because we are too poor to afford our own.