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22 March 2009

An international star of the gastronomic TV in Barcelona

Accepting the invitation of Laura Gosalbo, manager of Gastronomia Activa, Chef Wan, Gastronomy of Southeast Asia, came to meet the greedy flavours of Catalonia.

Chef Wan, whose real name is Redzuawan Bin Ismail, is the official Ambassador of the gastronomy of Malaysia, and, culinary expert, rock star, actor, talk-show host, comedian, lecturer, one of Malaysia’s best-loved icons ...all in one.

He has cooked for many famous personalities, including the Sultan of Brunei and the U.S. President, Bill Clinton but, his world popularity is mainly due to his intimate blend of rigorous work, seriousness and irresistible humour.

Chef Wan is also the recognized and renowned author of numerous cookbooks on delicate, sophisticated and delicious Asian cooking. Amazing works which contain all the sweet and salty associations, the spices mixtures and the presentations in the joyful colours looking just like Chef Wan himself.

From San Francisco to Venice, from London to Sydney by way of Beijing and Paris, Chef Wan is applauded as a worldwide big star who cooks bringing happiness, laugh, stories, characters, meetings… pushing boring times away.

Even knowing deeply Malaysian and surrounding countries cooking tips and recipes, he does not neglect, on the contrary, the discoveries and fusions with products and techniques of five continents.

Chef Wan had already visited Barcelona, "capital of Catalonia" as he likes to remember, in 2003, on the occasion of Gourmand World Cookbook Awards organized every year in a different city worldwide by Edouard Cointreau - in 2009 the prize-giving Gala took place in Paris, at the Comédie Francaise on July 1st.

This passage in Barcelona, too fast to the taste of the Leader Wan was just "an aperitif” for this media gastronome who had hardly brushed the culinary delicacies of Catalonia. He was looking forward to introducing his generous but merciless papillae on markets, tapas bars and typical restaurants of the Catalan culture and identity.

"I prefer to appreciate and not to judge", he underlines, with his wisdom registered in humility and in respect for those who share the same food passions with him.

The Markets of Barcelona provided magnificent and unique products that he bought, prepared and cooked, anxious to taste with his friends: Laura Gosalbo and Henri-Pierre Millescamps, pillar of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and expert in antique cookbooks.

Chef Wan chose sublime fishes and seafood from Boqueria Marquet to carefully prepare “Suquet de Peix” with his friend Laura and in Galvany Marquet, he bought semolina, seasonal fruits, chicken and spices (the secret of which he preserves) to offer Tajine to his way.

These three unforgettable days are, henceforth, going to allow Chef Wan to make discover the Catalan gastronomy in his books and broadcasts.

Let us listen to the Chef Wan at the conclusion of his stay in Barcelona.

"Table arts are like happiness, they have no border and the first ingredient is the friendship."

On going...

Pascal SERRE, journalist
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