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AFC and E&O Kickstart the First-ever Asia-wide Reality Television Contest in Search for AFCʼs Next Celebrity Chef.
21 July 2011, MALAYSIA – Calling all food lovers and aspiring chefs! For the first time in Asia, the Asian Food Channel (AFC) is conducting a region-wide search for Asiaʼs next Celebrity Chef through AFCʼs firstever reality television series called the “E&O Search for AFCʼs Next Celebrity Chef”.
Joining AFC in this search for Asia’s best shining new chef talent is luxury lifestyle group Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O), with interests in property development, property investment, hospitality and lifestyle. Together, both organisations will leverage their resources to put contestants through a gamut of culinary challenges that will test even the most seasoned chef or passionate foodie.
With contestants from across Asia and auditions to be held in 5 countries – Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore – the programme promises to capture the best of Asiaʼs diverse talent. All aspiring chefs, individuals with culinary training, or those simply with the passion for and knowledge of cooking are invited to sign up for auditions and take up the challenge to be crowned “AFCʼs Next Celebrity Chef”.
The winning chef will also be signed to an exclusive one-year contract as an AFC Celebrity Chef with AFC. In addition, the winner will be awarded the opportunity of a year-long employment contract with the E&O Group, taking on the mantle of Creative Director and Head of R&D for the E&O Gourmet Group.
Auditions will run from 3rd to 16th August 2011 in the five respective countries.
Contestants who are shortlisted from the auditions will be put through a series of intense cooking tests and trials, to identify who has the right ingredients to hold the title of E&O and AFCʼs Next Celebrity Chef!
The exciting eight-part series will unveil the top 12 finalists in its premiere episode. Each week, one or more participants will be eliminated from the running based on the decisions made by the esteemed panel of judges.
AFC and E&O have appointed AFC Celebrity Chef and star of TV series Tablescapes, Chef Bruce Lim and Mr. Michael Saxon as the judges on this show. Mr. Saxon, Director of Group Hospitality & Lifestyle of E&O Group, is not only a well-known hotelier, but also author of his famous professional memoir, Chefʼs Tales.
A host of international and distinguished celebrity chefs will also be invited to make surprise guest appearances in selected episode(s) throughout the series as guest celebrity chef judges.
Ms. Maria Brown, Co-founder and Managing Director of the Asian Food Channel, expressed her excitement at this AFC original production, “We are so proud and honoured to be able to create our own search for a celebrity in show in Asia. It has been something we have been planning for a long time and as Asia’s premier Food Channel we are delighted to be able to develop talent from across the region. Asia can now begin to have its own home-grown celebrity chefs that the region can take pride in.
“As this is AFCʼs first-ever fully produced and filmed reality television contest, we want the different backgrounds and personalities of the contestants and judges to add to the mix of culture and character dimensions to the series, which – as our loyal viewers will know – is what AFC has always been about!”
The entire series will be shot on location at E&Oʼs numerous hospitality and lifestyle properties such as the Eastern & Oriental Hotel and Lone Pine Hotel in Penang, the Martinique seafront villa and Straits Quay Retail Marina at E&Oʼs master planned township of Seri Tanjung Pinang, Penang, the St. Mary Residences in Kuala Lumpur as well as at some of the popular Delicious restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
“AFC has always supported local Asian talent, through our many other original productions featuring legendary chefs such as Chef Wan and Chef Martin Yan. We feel this series is the perfect opportunity now to give our viewers not only high quality Asian content, but also for them to have the very real chance of a lifetime to be a Chef on our Channel,” added Ms. Brown.
E&O Groupʼs Deputy Managing Director Mr. Eric Chan commented, “E&O is all about luxury lifestyle experiences, and we are excited to bring this to life in a new and different way. This is Asia’s first homegrown reality show centred around talented chefs and great food, and we are proud to be working with AFC to make it happen.
“With their production expertise, and the range of challenges we can offer across our different properties and businesses, we are confident we can inspire aspiring chefs across the region to become AFCʼs next celebrity chef and be a part of the E&O team.”
This production follows the great success of True Passion – Martin Yan, which premiered on 13 July 2011, featuring Chef Martin Yan cooking his signature Asian dishes which he pairs in eight (8) episodes with his favourite wines. This show was shot on location at vineyards in Australia and at the AFC’s studio in Singapore.
This programme comes after several other AFC original productions such as Best Wan! with Chef Wan, and several other documentary programmes covering topics from the use of palm oil in cooking, to the well chronicled visits made to Asia by notable chefs such as Chef Daniel Boulud, Chef Anna Olson, and Chef Robert Rainford.
The E&O Search for AFCʼs Next Celebrity Chef series will be complemented with online updates and information, as AFC will be launching a microsite dedicated to the production of the series. Please visit http://www.asianfoodchannel.com/nextafcchef for more information.
The site will provide up-to-date information about contestants and carry weekly updates of the latest happenings as contestants go through challenging rounds (with some of them failing!) until we are left with the last chef standing.
Gordon recently visited the Eastern & Oriental Hotel and I have to tell you, I prepared myself for the barrage of insults that I perceived would be very soon forth coming. On his arrival he was very tired as he had just landed from a very long journey, but he still found the time to smile and shake my hand as if he really meant it. I offered to carry one of his 2 bags which he refused until I insisted, thereby almost taking it from his hand by force.
He is very down to earth, a simple person who just wants to be treated like everyone else and loves to be low key and private.
During his stay this man has managed to dispel all negative thoughts I may have had previously after watching his television persona, to be quite honest and to put it simply, he is a complete gentleman.
He constantly praised our hotel & my colleagues and on his departure told me that he would have loved to stay far longer if he were able.
As he stood by the door, I asked him “Would it be out of line Gordon if I requested us to take a photo together” , he looked at me confused and replied, “Of course not, don’t be silly, I would have been disappointed if you had not asked.”
Mr. Gordon Ramsay, I take my hat of to you, having you in our hotel was a complete pleasure and I wish everyone could only see what I saw, this wonderful person that you are.