Favourite 5 Food Production Stuff
This year we started photographing and filming food seriously. And found some things terribly useful in the pursuit of our obsessive vision of food.
Oldie but a Goodie
34/ Good Morning towel
Absorbent, cheap and plentiful. Many a spill and sweat has been wiped by this production staple. Best thing is that it's easy to wash and dries almost instantly. The price RM7.50 for 10. Available at almost all local shops. Laps up almost everything.
35/ Red Bull
Our shooting days are long. We can shoot up to 4 recipes a day, over and over. On Invasion we can shoot up to 7 eateries in a day. Insane? Hence Red Bull gives our crew an energy booster when spirits are flailing. As our camera crew says, “give a dog a bone to shut it up, give your crew red bull to shut up and shoot faster before we loose the natural light!”.
Many a times we had to rush to IKEA to get extra plates and utensils. It's near our studio, affordable and easy to browse. You have to hand it to the Swedes. They sure make modular-living cool and easy on the eyes on camera.
37/ The Poly
The humble Poly or polystyrene foam is an amazing production tool. They can manufacture them in any sizes and almost into any shape! It's a cheap and effective way to reflect natural light for shoots and can double up as a light box as well (p/s : This one is actually an icebox).... Huzzah!
The Creative Director's Camera
38/ Nikon D50
We know it's not the latest or the most high-tech but it's amazing what you can do with a basic SLR and determination. Riz, our Street Photographer has used this camera to the fullest of its limits. It's been in all the pokey streets and in close contact with all our cooking. It's been bruised and battered and splattered and yet it toughs on.
Food in Entertainment and Media
This year looking around at the world at large, there have been many who also take inspiration from the food world. They inspire us. Because when we don't write, produce, shoot or edit food, we will be watching, reading and listening to it.
39/ Malaysian Food Bloggers
Too many to name- you know who they are. Just google on Malaysian Food Bloggers and you will be surprised how many out that writes beautifully and ardently about the world of food. We love them because they promote our food to the rest of the world with humour and through their passionate blogs, we hope people come to Malaysia and see how wonderful Malaysians can be. Our Favourite 5 Food Bloggers for this year are:
: for the sheer adventure of her travels and passion promoting Malaysian street food overseas.
: for her poems and limericks and elevating the humble food review.
: for his hand-drawn maps.
: for being so prolific
: for being one of the first to scribble about street food.
The rest of you, we love you too... so keep up the great work. You want to know how many food blogger's we have? Check out The Ultimate List of Malaysian Food Bloggers
by Zhongg Internet Digest! Dang! The 'Kaki Makan' Club!
40/ Maxis Food Campaign
You've seen it as you drive on the highway- a row of donuts of every shape and colour. Suddenly you really, really want a donut. Then there’s the array of cupcakes. We think it's pretty jammy of them to latch on to our united obsession and hate them for torturing us during traffic jams.
Link: Maxis Media Centre
41/ Coconut Woman
Food has always featured in songs like “Eat it” by Weird al Yankovich or in lyrics, “I’m missing you like candy” by Mandy Moore. It’s been on stage, “Food Glorious Food!” in Oliver Twist or in Nursery Rhymes, “Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!” But no food song made us happier this year than Coconut Woman by Harry Belafonte. I mean check out the lyrics, happy, cheeky and makes you want to dance to the nearest beach.
A lady tell me the other day
No one can take her sweet man away
I ask her what was the mystery
She say coconut water and rice curry
You can cook it in a pot, four for five
You can serve it very hot, four for five
Coco got a lotta iron, four for five
Make you strong like a lion, four for five
We love this movie because the message that anyone can cook is one we truly believe in. Also it's a cautionary tale of those who review food. Remember the Grim Eater? So intent in finding fault with restaurants that he has forgotten how to eat for the simple pleasure of eating. This makes it all the more touching when he eats the ratatouille and is suddenly transported back to the comfort of his mother's kitchen. Sniff. Pass the tissue please.
Link: Favourite 5 Food Movies (Soon!)
Favourite 5 Brands
43/ Yola Chocolates (I Heart KL)
Most Gutsy. It takes quite a bit of gumption to tackle one of the most well-loved food in the world with very resolute ideas on brand (think Lindt and Leonidas). Yola uses Malaysian cocoa and makes delicious local chocolates. And check this out, they not only make their own chocolates, they package them, innovate them (try their chocolate dates with almond pits during Raya) and promote them. They even dare sell them premium with their I Heart KL and I Heart Malaysia line.
44/ Electrolux (Mobile Kitchen)
Most Savvy. This is the brand our parents use and most remember it from childhood. Recently though Elextrolux has been going through a revamp and are now doing out-of-the-box things with their products. Our favourite is their mobile kitchen where they've retrofitted an entire truck with their kitchenware and even have their own mobile chef whipping up tasty treats for potential customers.
45/ Rinnai (Build in Hobs)
Most Gorgeous Flame! The RBG-RN71W5GA1X2-SVL (now that's a mouthful!) looks like a polished VCR player fused to a black ceramic glass gas hob on the top. But once this little contraption is fitted to your kitchen, it will look like a million bucks. It functions like one too. One of its hobs has a temperature controlled sensor that will automatically regulate your frying temperature giving you perfect tempura. Other knobs and buttons make sure that your cooking journey is aided just like an autopilot of an aircraft. But the best thing about this nifty thing is that its hob flame fires a fierce blue much like the afterburners of a jet fighter giving chef wannabes an instant 'wok hei' burn they want when frying char koay teow.
46/ Brahims (sambal ikan bilis & kari daging)
Can’t Leave M’sia without it. Who doesn't remember travelling to foreign lands with packets of Brahims in their bags? Even those of us who would not dream of eating processed food, fall like starving dogs upon Brahims sambal ikan bilis heated up in the microwave with white bread in the depths of an English winter. Brahims have grown by leaps and bounds. They now sell sauces so you can make your own with fresh meats and you can find them in Sainsburys.
47/ AirAsia (Snack Attack)
Mile-high Makan Club. The region’s most successful low cost carrier. Has it gotten to their heads? No. They still remember their roots and are proud to serve local dishes on-board that are close to our hearts to anyone who cares to try them. Through them, the world gets to know about the Malaysian Nasi Lemak, Chicken Rice, Satay and even our favourite roti jala by the thousands. In a month, they serve an estimated 6,000 packs of Nasi Lemak onboard! (That numbers are just for Nasi Lemak). Top Sellers are Nasi Lemak followed by Chicken Rice. (Photo courtesy of AirAsia)
By now you would have guessed that food is a culture for us Malaysians. Our social lives revolve around food. We seldom stray from any excuse to have a teh tarik or invite people over for some grub. Expect to do this stuff if you are in Malaysia.
Favourite Anytime Activity
48/ Teh Tarik Sessions
It's a national past-time. Everything happens over teh tarik. Let's face it, it's the most loved social exercise in this country. Essentially a teh tarik is hot tea with condensed milk, pulled to get a frothy cap on top. Think of the Teahouses of Iran or the Cafes of Paris. But it's much more than that. It's a take five drink, an after work brew, an aperitif before a meal, an I-need-to-talk to someone beverage and it brings all levels of society to a level playing field.
49/ Open House
Two words. Free food! On a longer note, open houses are one of the loveliest traditions in our country. What can be better than sharing your festivities by opening your house and feeding people?
Favourite Foodster Activity
This is fast becoming our main activity during our ho-downs. We've made our own burgers and sizzled our own steaks. We've lovingly flipped thick beef ribs and sizzled sotong by the dozens. Heck we've even barbecued a whole turkey. Seriously, we work so hard, we need to do it so that we can at least see our friends and families.
Watch Skunkworks- Barbecued Turkey
"All the delicious makan places, all the cool kitchen gadgets, all the great foodie stuff to tell you guys!"