Organized by World Gourmet and inaugurated by Deputy Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, the World Top Gourmet Awards (WTGA) 2023 has commenced at the Sunway Resort Hotel. This initiative marks a significant step towards enhancing the culinary prowess of local chefs and dining establishments throughout Malaysia, in anticipation of the upcoming Visit Malaysia 2026 campaign revealed during the Budget 2024.
Since its inception in 2017, WTGA has been a valuable resource for locals and tourists, guiding them to a diverse array of dining experiences, from restaurants and cafes to neighborhood eateries. The awards aim to play a pivotal role in shaping culinary exploration by providing essential insights, recommendations, and a platform for discovering the region’s rich and diverse food scene.
Khairul emphasized, “As we all know, Malaysia is often celebrated as a culinary paradise, where dining is a cherished tradition deeply embedded in our diverse cultural heritage. This rich tapestry of flavors makes Malaysia the ideal stage for showcasing our culinary diversity. Our food & beverage providers do more than serve food; they narrate stories, traditions, and our cultural heritage through cuisine, propelling the growth of our tourism and culture sector.”
As 2024 approaches, World Gourmet has lined up several key initiatives to enhance the skills of local chefs and eateries. These initiatives include providing workshops, training programs led by renowned chefs, culinary exchanges with the participation of local chefs and eateries, cooking competitions, and festivals celebrating global cuisines. World Gourmet will be collaborating with local tourism boards to design vacation packages that feature eateries in particular states, aiming to highlight the unique local specialties as well as engage with their local communities through initiatives such as charity dinners, fundraisers, and mentorship programs to shed light on the communities that do not have access to culinary education.
World Gourmet President, Peggy Chong said, “World Gourmet believes that food is a reflection of culture, heritage, and history. Through our culinary arts, we merge cultures and create opportunities for understanding and appreciation with one another. This year, we received an overwhelming response in nominations, allowing us to carefully evaluate and award 102 recipients – a record in World Gourmet’s history. These recipients represent the very best of our industry, and their dedication and passion are truly commendable.”
In addition to this, World Gourmet has appointed World Chefs’ Association President, Master Chef Thomas A. Gugler as its World Gourmet Chef of Honor and Master Chef Chin Chee Sing (Chef Sun) as the World Gourmet Ambassador 2023, who will participate in the initiatives in 2024.
Furthermore, esteemed chefs like Tourism Malaysia’s Ambassador Dato’ Chef Ismail Ahmad, Cooking For Charity’s Founder, Master Chef Jeffrey Tan; 3-Michelin Star Forum Restaurant’s Executive Chef, Master Chef Adam Wong, among others, attended to support the event. World Gourmet has been instrumental in promoting and supporting over 300 local eateries and plans to extend this support to 500 establishments in the upcoming year.
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