With little knowledge of what lay in store, I attended a press launch by Astro recently that turned out to be a promo for a reality series premiering very soon.
With a restaurant as the venue, the hint was that it related to dining. Stepping in, we were welcomed by a good spread of Malaysian fare and a number of local celebrities and personalities.
The owner of Restoran Rebung is Datuk Chef Ismail, who is well known for his vast culinary experience and traditional recipes.
His voice rang louder than the rest, including that of comedian Joanne Kam. With his entertaining personality, he is one to watch in a reality show coming up on Astro.
Sitting close to me was Thanuja Ananthan, Miss World Malaysia 2009. I whispered to her as to whether she was still modelling, to which she replied “That and other things.”
This really tall beauty queen has a profile that includes Law & Business, TV hosting, emcee (Multilingual), model, actress, Masterchef Celebrity and animal ambassador among others.
Unsurprisingly, she was also one of the celebrities roped in to add flavours to the upcoming reality show.
The show in question, Star Vs Food Malaysia, by Astro and Discovery Networks, will feature a power-packed line-up of Malaysian celebrities paired with renowned chefs.
It premiered on April 16 on PRIMEtime (Ch 704). The localised cooking reality show is based on an original Discovery format ‘Star Vs Food’, which enjoyed a successful first season in India.
Sharmin Parameswaran, vice president of International Business for Astro, said that “We are excited to continue on our co-production path with Discovery to present the premiere of Star Vs Food Malaysia.
“As we continue investing in and growing our slate of localised formats relevant to our audience, we are also pleased to work with more local talents and production teams including Creative Stew, strengthening our position as the leading local entertainment destination.
Following our earlier co-productions with Discovery for local gardening show, Green Crashers and local food review series, BEST.EVER., which garnered good reviews and strong viewership, we hope customers will also enjoy the exchange of talent, humour and teamwork between chefs and celebrities in Star Vs Food Malaysia.”
We also watched a virtual speech streamed live from Beijing where Vikram Channa, vice president, Head of Content and Products, South East Asia, Discovery stated that, “Discovery is thrilled to extend its collaboration with Astro with the announcement of three new series that champion local storytelling, creativity and talent. These original Discovery formats reflect our renowned reputation for quality entertainment, as well as our commitment to bringing more locally-relevant content to audiences.”
This 10-episode series presents a unique cooking show concept where the celebrities explore and learn recipes by chefs as well as the necessary food preparation in simple and interesting ways. Star Vs Food Malaysia features popular local celebrities paired with renowned celebrity chefs: Alif Satar and Datuk Aznil Haji Nawawi; Bront Palarae and Datuk Chef Ismail; Sherry Alhadad and Chef Adu Amran; Alicia Amin and Chef Florence Tan; Che Puan Juliana Evans and Chef Najib Hamid; Hisyam Hamid and Datuk Chef Fazley Yaakob; Datin Lisa Surihani and Chef Melba Nunis; Daiyan Trisha and Chef Fadzly Che Omar; Thanuja Ananthan and Chef Yogi; and Joanne Kam and Chef Nazri Jameson.
It will indeed be fun and entertaining to watch how the celebrities cope with the challenge of whipping up delicious cuisines and honing their craft.
As expected, comedian Joanne Kam was hilarious in her sharing. She kept saying that she is a ‘meat’ person and there we saw her smouldering salad leaves during a plating competition at the press launch.
Hisyam Hamid the handsome actor sat down next to us and shared his experience in the show with Datuk Chef Fazley Yaakob.
From what was heard, he had been very obedient when following instructions from his Chef. Better watch Episode 6 to see just how obedient he was in the kitchen!
While Malaysian actor, screenwriter, film director and producer Bront Palarae said in a statement that, “The experience of cooking Tempoyak and Gulai Daun Pucuk Paku was unparalleled as I was on the knife’s edge this time unlike enjoying my meal in the restaurant.
I was nervous but Chef Ismail’s passion encouraged me and helped my confidence grow. In the promo, you can see I was struggling to manually peel the coconut husk to get the grated coconut for dishes and the experience is priceless.”
Imaging grating coconut the old fashioned way!
Star Vs Food Malaysia will be broadcast every Saturday and Sunday at 12pm on PRIMEtime (Ch 704) and can be streamed on Astro GO and On Demand.
The first episode premiered on April 16.
Star Vs Food Malaysia
Episode Title & Menu
Celebrity and Chef pairs
Episode 1: The Kitchen King
Shell Out Balado
April 16, Saturday
Alif Satar and Datuk Aznil Haji Nawawi
Episode 2: The Last Action Hero
Pekasam Daging & Rebung
Tempoyak & Gulai Daun Pucuk Paku
April 17, Sunday
Bront Palarae and Datuk Chef Ismail
Episode 3: That’s What She Said
Grilled Salmon Asam Pedas Bisque
Asian Pesto Rice
April 23, Saturday
Sherry Alhadad and Chef Adu Amran
Episode 4: The Kitchen Catwalk
Top Hat (Pie Tee)
Sweet & Sour Spicy Fish
April 24, Sunday
Alicia Amin and Chef Florence Tan
Episode 5: The Royal Rumble
Chicken souvlaki with feta yoghurt tzatziki
Watermelon Summer Salad
Granny Smith’s Apple Crumble
April 30, Saturday
Che Puan Juliana Evans and Chef Najib Hamid
Episode 6: Fire Starter
Daging Salai Lemak Masak Cili Api
Jagung Bakar Macarons
May 1, Sunday
Hisyam Hamid and Datuk Chef Fazley Yaakob
Episode 7: The Food Activist
Devil’s Chicken Curry
Soy Limang Terung
May 7, Saturday
Datin Lisa Surihani and Chef Melba Nunis
Episode 8: Mozart In the Kitchen
Citrus Almond Salad with Smoked Chicken
Pan Seared Salmon Crispy Parsley Crumbs with Garlic Mashed Potato, Garden Sautéed Vegetables and Hollandaise Sauce
Lemongrass and Pandan Tea
May 8, Sunday
Daiyan Trisha and Chef Fadzly Che Omar
Episode 9: The Queen’s Game
Lobster in Butter Sauce
Suckling Goat In Tandoor
Fresh Coconut Sauce
May 14 , Saturday
Thanuja Ananthan and Chef Yogi
Episode 10: The Kitchen Cellar
Beef Brisket & Beef Ribs
Home Made Coleslaw
May 15, Sunday
Joanne Kam and Chef Nazri Jameson