INTRODUCING Malaysian flavours to the folks has develop into a private mission for Chef Datuk Fazley Yaakob, singer, Celebrity Masterchef winner and mastermind behind SukaSucre Bistro and MinangKapau restaurant (beforehand generally known as Minang Tapau restaurant).
Fazley takes delight in conventional recipes, particularly in wealthy and fragrant Negeri Sembilan delicacies, with components comparable to coconut milk and turmeric, and goals to advertise genuine flavours throughout the worldwide culinary scene.
For Fazley, it’s not nearly bringing Malaysian meals to the world, moderately, he needs to ask the world to style Malaysian meals.
“The major challenge is to convince foreigners to take the first bite. If I cook rendang, daging salai lemak cili api and tempoyak, the fragrance may not be familiar to many people,” revealed Fazley, an accounting and finance diploma holder from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.
“Once they take a bite, I am not worried anymore. I will win them over. It is always about convincing people to try something new or unfamiliar.”
From Rembau to Paris
A pastry and culinary chef, Fazley realized about French smoked beef, hen and seafood cooked over wooden chips whereas finding out in Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
“I told myself, if I want to champion food, it has to be something which I have grown up with. I remember the days when I was helping my grandmother to cook meat in the traditional style over a wood fire in our kampung.”
Realising the similarities between Western and Rembau cusine, Fazley smoked meat marinated with turmeric, and stunned a bunch of famend cooks with the style.
“That was my turning point,” recalled Fazley, whose cookbook My Sucre Story received the Gourmand World Cookbook Award in 2016.
Fazley additionally feels that if the culinary world can embrace French meals names comparable to macarons and filet mignon, and even cooking jargon like “saute”, then it shouldn’t have any downside adopting Malaysian names for meals.
“Why can’t we keep the (food name) recipes in the Malaysian language? Why can’t Westerners use Malaysian words like daging salai lemak cili api?,” requested Fazley, who has efficiently married French flavours in conventional Negeri Sembilan delicacies in SukaSucre.
“Although my (first) recipe book is bilingual, I simply named the recipes as they are. I refuse to change the name of popular Malaysian food for the sake of [Western readers].”
Back to his roots
In France, cooks from numerous districts specialise of their native cuisines, and cook dinner with native components. “As a chef, I want to stay true to local ingredients and traditional recipes, and (stay true to) where I come from,” stated Fazley, who nonetheless refers to himself as a “kampung boy”.
“Back in my kampung, my grandma ready daging salai lemak cili api and rendang, which is now accessible on Minangkapau’s menu.
“Each time I begin the fireplace to cook dinner within the kitchen, it brings again reminiscences of my grandma.”
“My grandma, my mum (Datin Umi Kalsom), who runs a cooking school, and my wife, who also shares the same love for authentic Negeri Sembilan food, are my biggest influences,” added Fazley, who additionally names British chef Gordon Ramsay as an inspiration.
Fazley stated the Michelin-starred chef excels as a father who nurtures his kids, and by no means shies away from studying new recipes, even attempting his hand at Asian road meals.
Keto weight loss plan
On Sept 2, Fazley launched a small meals station named Solero Keto inside MinangKapau. Food hunters can take pleasure in wholesome meals choices based mostly on the ketogenic weight loss plan, together with delicious French pastries made with out sugar, or utilizing Lakanto (a plant-based sweetener).
“I stumbled upon the keto diet as I was seeking out the best diet system,” stated Fazley, who was involved over his kids’s weight.
“I want to change the stigma or mindset that a person can’t enjoy [simple delights like] teh tarik or fried noodles while on a diet.”
He got here up with the menu for Solero Keto after searching for recommendation from dieticians, nutritionists and docs concerning appropriate components.
Although Fazley plans to open a correct Solero Keto restaurant sooner or later, clients might order gadgets from the Solero Keto menu whereas dining-in at MinangKapau or through supply service SeizeFood.
The singing chef
Aside from whipping up unforgettable desserts, Fazley is named a singing chef, and by no means finds it laborious to steadiness each careers.
Currently, the Asmara Ini singer is engaged on one other cookbook, and recording his subsequent album. Biarkanlah, the primary single from the upcoming album, is anticipated to be launched subsequent month.
“Whenever I cook, I sing and whenever I sing, people will ask me for cooking recipes,” Fazley stated with a smile.