Amidst the culinary forums and food showcases taking place during the Brunei December Festival 2017, the ‘Nyirik Culinary Challenge’ is one that lights up the competitive spirits in the easy-going Bruneian hearts. With the support of the Brunei Tourism board, Eko Kampung and Eco Ponies garden organized the national cooking competition on 10th December 2017 in the Tutong district. The Nyirik Culinary Challenge is comprised of four culinary competitions held in the four districts which aim to promote traditional Malay delicacies to the younger generations.
Taking place at the Tutong Waterfront, the eight contestants marvelously showcased different types of unique Malay desserts such as the ‘Penyaram’ and ‘Celurut’. The contestants were allowed to bring homemade samples of their dishes but were also required to have a firm knowledge in cooking the dishes. Their demonstration in preparing and making the dishes became the main points that the judges based on during the contest. Though categorized as a competition, visitors can still interact with the participants; they can taste their delicious food, discuss recipes with them or even inquire methods on cooking these local desserts.
The Guest of Honor for the event was Yang Mulia Awang Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, the Deputy Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Primary Resourced and Tourism; while the contest itself was judged by renowned chefs from the Rizqun Hotel, Brunei Hotel, Royal Brunei Catering (RBC) as well as our very own local celebrity chef. After carefully examining their options of the dishes served, they have come to a mutual conclusion during the end of the contest.
Taking the first place for the Nyirik Culinary Challenge was Hajah Tinong binti Haji Salanda, aged 54, with her masterfully crafted classic ‘Penyaram’. Nurfarain binti Muhd Mustafa, aged 19, took second place with her demonstration in the making of the ‘Celurut’. The third place spot was won by Rosidi bin Karim, aged 25, for his traditional ‘Kueh Linggang’. Hajah Siti Zaleha Haji Kaprawi, Co-Founder of Eco Village Enterprise said that each contestant’s recipe will be collected and compiled into a special cookbook that focuses on traditional Malay desserts. This is to honour the contestant’s hard work in procuring these dishes for their beloved people.
The second contest resumed in the Temburong district on 17th December and will continue into the Belait district in the same week. The contest in the Brunei-Muara district will be the final conclusion to the Nyirik Cooking Challenge 2017 by the end of the month.