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New Zealand Ingredients Flavour Ethnic Cuisine

New Zealand Ingredients Flavour Ethnic Cuisine

Auckland, 16 May, 2003 -- A novel food and wine promotion in Kuala Lumpur has seen authentic ingredients imported from New Zealand and used in the Malay, Indian, Chinese, Italian and continental kitchens at the prestigious Shangri-La Hotel.

For nearly two weeks the hotel’s Lemon Garden Café, where New Zealander Richard Wilson is Chef de Cuisine, prepared a variety of dishes from each of the kitchens using meat, seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses and ice cream from New Zealand. To complement the food, New Zealand wines were available by the glass or the bottle.

Richard Wilson worked in a range of restaurants in New Zealand and Australia before becoming Senior Chef de Partie for the Banquet Kitchen division of Hotel Sofitel in Melbourne. A few years later he became Sous Chef at the Palazzo Versace Hotel on Queensland’s Gold Coast, moving from there to the Shangri La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The Lemon Garden Café employs over 50 staff and its unique live buffet arena and vibrant, central city location make it one of the most popular restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. It is estimated that several thousand diners enjoyed lunch or dinner there during the 12-day New Zealand promotion, including Government ministers, diplomats and well-known business executives.

Cards were placed near each dish to identify that they had been prepared with New Zealand ingredients, posters showing New Zealand food and scenery adorned the café walls and diners were given a New Zealand tourism booklet as they left.

A further 40 dignitaries enjoyed a specially prepared dinner featuring New Zealand wine and food at a dinner in the fine dining restaurant Lafite, a week later.

Trade New Zealand Business Development Manager Lai Kim Tee says the promotion was designed to highlight the quality of New Zealand produce and demonstrate its versatility.

“Because the café serves a range of dishes, it was an excellent place to show that New Zealand ingredients can form the basis of all kinds of cuisine, not just western style,” she says.

“While New Zealand is known in Malaysia for its apples and kiwifruit, we want to increase awareness of the availability of other New Zealand foods and beverages.”

Large quantities of food products were sourced from Malaysian importers or flown in direct from New Zealand during the promotion. This included 330kg of beef, 100 litres of ice cream, 90kg of salmon, 2500 oysters, 60kg of kumara and 30kg of mushrooms.

Malaysia is New Zealand’s 10th largest export market and our largest market in South East Asia. New Zealand is Malaysia’s second largest supplier of frozen and chilled beef, sheep and goat meat and offal (exports valued at nearly NZ$52 million in 2002) and also a significant supplier of fruit and vegetables (exports valued at just over NZ$30 million in 2002). Seafood and fish exports to Malaysia earned more than NZ$15.2 million in 2002.

Trade New Zealand believes that as well as being a great opportunity to highlight quality New Zealand food in several of Kuala Lumpur’s top dining establishments, the promotion will result in additional long term business for New Zealand food exporters in the market, and particularly in supplying the Shangri La Hotel.

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