In our recent stay at the Cameron Highlands Resort, one of the highlights was the Amical Dinner hosted by the Bailliage de Perak (Perak chapter) of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, one of eight baillages in Malaysia.
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an International Association of Gastronomy, now established in more than 80 countries worldwide. It was founded in Paris in 1950. With more than 25,000 members, the Chaîne brings together like-minded people who are passionate about the pleasures of the table, with appreciation of fine cuisine, wines and the promotion of gastronomy and culinary arts on a broad spectrum.
By nightfall, the Dining Room of the Cameron Highlands Resort was transformed into an elegant hall with a beautifully-set long table to seat the 20-odd members of the Chaîne that evening. The warm lighting from the walls and ceiling together with the flickering candlelights on the dining table cast a golden romantic hue to the dining hall. Cool crisp air permeated from the half-opened windows as we settled ourselves comfortably at our reserved table. Some members were from neighbouring chapters and came all the way from Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Everyone was dressed in formal wear but what’s interesting to note was that each member wore an elaborate ribbon, all different coloured.
Members of the Chaîne mingling and having pre-dinner drinks
Dr Elizabeth Lee, the regional president of the Perak chapter explained that members were given ribbons appropriate to their ranks and career, denoting a hospitality professional or a gastronome. Ribbons in orange denote members who are in the hospitality fields. Green, blue, maroon and red ribbons denote officers of the Chaîne, either on a local, national, or international level.
Dr Elizabeth Lee lighting up the fire at the fireplace
After some welcoming remarks from Dr Lee, the smartly-dressed service crew began to serve the special dishes which had been prepared with great care by Chef Chang Kim Soon and his team. The final menu was only decided upon after a few rounds of discussion with the organizing committee.
The young Chef Chang spent countless hours hashing and rehashing the dishes before finally coming up with this exquisite menu:
Cold Starter: Loch Fyne Salmon, Hokkaido Scallop, Pickled Fennel with Ginger Dressing
Soup: Jerusalem Artichoke, Cream, Smoked Garlic Chip
Warm Starter: Charred Prawn, Pumpkin-yolk Purèe, Cumin Oil
Paired with Domaine des Poncetys Saint-Véran Cuvée Biologique les Climats 2014
Palate Cleanser: Calamansi Sorbet
Main Course: Wagyu Medallion – medium, Sea Urchin Crust
Dessert: Highland Strawberries, Marscapone paired with a Digestif
What’s also intriguing was the critique of the dishes by the members after dinner has ended. Representing the Chaîne, Chef Rodolphe Onno, the technical director of Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia gave his feedback to an anxious-looking Chef Chang who had lined up his entire kitchen crew in front of the diners.
Chef Chang broke into smiles after Chef Onno’s critique and I knew all were good. Amidst enthusiastic and appreciative applause, Chef Chang and his team members were awarded ribbons of acknowledgement. A plaque was also presented to the resort and it’s now displayed proudly in the Reading Room. So yes, the Dining Room at the Cameron Highlands Resort is now a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs-endorsed establishment.
For more information on Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, click here.
The Amical Dinner was hosted at:
THE DINING ROOM
Cameron Highlands Resort
By the Golf Course
39000 Tanah Rata