BRUNEI chefs are skilled but they lack international recognition as they are not coming out to showcase their food creations, said renowned Singaporean chef Siti Mastura Alwi.
“Bruneians need to get rid of their humble attitude or assumption that their creations are just normal,” she told the Bulletin yesterday. “Brunei food delicacies like ‘Nasi Belutak’, or beef intestine rice, could become the Sultanate’s signature dish. I love its taste as it could not be found anywhere else.”
Chef Siti is currently in the country on the invitation to judge the upcoming ‘Packed Biscuits and Cakes Ready for Export’ competition organized by local social marketplace Cube Junction.
“The overseas market is still not familiar with Brunei’s gastronomic delights and we need to showcase them such as through online services.”
“There are many talented local chefs out there who post their food masterpieces through the social media,” Chef Siti said, adding that there is big potential to export Brunei biscuits and cakes.
“People may wonder what is unique about Brunei food. Does the food represent Brunei? That is what is required in food products if they are to attract the foreign market. One way to enhance it is through fusion – blending the traditional style with modern style,” pointed out Chef Siti, who is one of the judges of the reality show MasterChef Malaysia and Principal Chef Consultant of SSA Consulting Group, Singapore.
Cube Junction CEO Ramlee bin Begawan Pehin Khatib Dato Paduka Haji Zainuddin said because of the stringent Halal procedures, Brunei food products have attracted strong interest from the Middle East, Europe, Australia, and China.
There is vast potential for Halal products internationally, judging by the $3.66 trillion global Halal markets.
“Through this competition, which is the first of its kind to be held, we can promote local food for the export market. We will pick 50 best of the best local biscuits and 50 cakes.
“Local food products should be capable of enticing international buyers and we will groom the winners and help them reach the foreign market. Through this competition, local entrepreneurs could raise the bar of the local food industry and as a benchmark against others,” Ramlee said, adding that the contest is held to answer the government’s call to develop the local food industry.
Mentored under the Cottage and Youth Initiative Programme at iCentre and endorsed by the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cube Junction is a 100 percent Bruneian company that offers an e-commerce and social networking platform for businesses to conduct their operations easily and securely on the Internet.
Originally published on www.borneobulletin.com.nb