Media Hands-on cooking with Michael Elfwing @Starhill Culinary Studio, Starhill Gallery

It has been a real honor for me to be invited by Embassy of Sweden for the press conference about Swedish Culinary with the title Sweden - A Great Food Nation. The venue is at Starhill Culinary Studio, Starhill Gallery.
This event is started from 12th Sept 2013 - 22nd September 2013. A long 10 days stretch just to introduce their Swedish cuisine into our multi racial country. We all known that we have a lot of cuisine from around the world in our country such as Japanese, Korean, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese, Indian, Middle Eastern, American, French, Spanish, Mexican, Italian, German, Irish, British and many more to be listed. However, Swedish cuisine will be very new to us. I am truly excited what makes Swedish cuisine to be different with others.
I was the first to arrive and glad to see the organizer have everything well setup and prepared. After being warm welcomed and well entertained by the staffs there, I took my own sweet time for a closer shot.
That's the kitchen for some of us to do some cooking lesson for our own lunch. Yes, we are invited to make our own lunch under the guidance of a chef of course.
Ingredients are prepared but not very sure what will a Swedish dish will be made by just looking at them here.
Something for sure...it is got to do with the Halibut.
That's the master chef of the day, Chef Michael Elfwing from Sweden. He is the Executive Sous Chef of the elite culinary team in Hilton Kuala Lumpur. He earned numerous awards and recognition such as The Golden Cauldron Award at the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival for 3 years, Best Hotel Restaurant by Expatriate Lifestyle in 2010, the prestigious 5-star Diamond Awards as one of the Best Restaurants in 2005, listed in the Hospitality Asia Award for Best Western Cuisine, to name a few.
Before he begin his presentation in front of the audience, a short speech by a beautiful lady, Ms. Paula Conway, Operations & Marketing Manager of Starhill Culinary Studio. The venue was excellent and outstanding. All credits to her and her team.
His Excellency, Mr. H.E Bengt G Carlsson, Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia has made his introduction about the purpose of the event. We all known that some well-known Swedish companies such as Electrolux (the main sponsor of the event), Ikea, H&M and many more has already made their appearances in Malaysia market. So this time it is a clear intention to bring in the Swedish food as well. We only know the famous Swedish meat ball which is selling hot in Ikea but actually Swedish cuisine is more than just a meat ball.
Without further ado, let Chef Michael to do the cooking demonstration which was one of the main highlight of the day.
He was cooking a Seafood Lasagna using the Halibut earlier. I have tried Chicken Lasagna and seen Beef Lasagna but never know how a Seafood Lasagna will taste like.
While cooking, he explained about Swedish cuisine. He did made an important point that Swedish cuisine is quite affordable if to compare with French cuisine and Italian cuisine because they use a lot of mints in their cooking and their beef used is from the secondary part of a cow. 
The reason is the land in Sweden is not as large as Australia for them to breed cows. Since the primary parts are usually sold at a very high price because of their limitation so the secondary part of the beef will be chosen to make great food as well.
Chef Michael was trying to show us actually how soft can it be for this secondary part of a beef. It can be an excellent ingredient too! He added that a piece of this beef cost you only RM30/kg but in the restaurant it is sold more than RM200 for only 300g.
Continue with the lasagna, he boiled the lasagna sheets and it is going to take a while.
While waiting, he was preparing for the cream sauce which is made of milk. He did mentioned that in Sweden, it is very easy to get a lactose free dairy product in any ordinary supermarkets. This is good for someone who has allergic in dairy products.
This is how he prepared the Halibut. It is not just the fish only but there will be some smoked chicken in it too. A combination of fish and chicken in a lasagna will be very interesting.
The most interesting part for me is when he added some horseradish inside them. We all well known that wasabi is made from horseradish so can you imagine a wasabi taste in a lasagna...how is it going to taste like?
He carefully laid layer by layer chicken, lasagna sheet, cream and halibut.
Everyone is getting hungry for sure because I can't wait for it too!
After his final magic touch, the lasagna is ready to be put in the oven.
This is not ready yet but it did look edible for me already!
The presentation is over and it is time for the rookies to get on with their chef hat and apron before walk in to the kitchen. Thanks to Sharon for letting me take a good shot of the outfit on that day even though we got it wrong for the chef hat.
Huge responsibility for Chef Michael because he needs to make sure everyone is following his steps in making the starters, main course and the dessert.
Well, as for the rookie chefs, they were carrying a great deal of responsibility too to make sure there is a lunch for all of us. Of course, an edible one! This was the lasagna team and they were ready to get serious!
This looks like an art of a pro! Did not look like done by a rookie chef at all.
His Excellency was very serious too.
Some ingredients are already pre-prepared so they have their work cut especially on certain very technical part.
This is the main course team who will be making the beef which I can't eat :(
I don't see them as a rookie at all. They all got the skill which is better than me. Luckily, I am not joining to embarrass myself. I will just continue what I do best which is taking photographs.
This is the recipe for the Swedish Butter Cake with Elderflower Custard & Marinated Strawberries.
This is the only team that has 3 members in it while others have four. I did nosy a little in this team because they seem like having a lot of things to do.
Mr. Sam is doing what he was instructed to do by the chef.
While Ms. Minda got assistance by Chef Michael's assistant.
Well, even though they look busy but they still did enjoy every single things they were doing and I can't wait for the lunch.
Looking at Chef Michal's funny expression and running around the 3 stations can be really amusing too. At least, he did a very good job in bringing the confident in every rookie chefs on that day.
A final touch by himself to make sure all the dish are perfect for him!
The Lasagna cream is ready! The cream has immersed a very appetizing smell throughout the kitchen! I am hungry!
A final spread over the lasagna to complete our starter of the day. I do believe this is going to taste really nice!
It is ready to get into the oven!
But let the camera do the honor first...hahaha...I can't stand with Chef Michael's expression!
Ms. Minda is ready with the cake! The buttery smell is really tempting!
The moment of truth and look at his worry face!
He likes to create suspense too.
Ta-da! He was happy with the outcome which means the dessert is almost done!
Marinated strawberries with rhubarb is ready too.
The beef is done! Look and smell so nice but too bad. I can't taste it!
A group photo of the main course team and the dessert team! Ashvina who is on the most left was the funniest one to see apart of Chef Michael because she act like a chief chef by instructing every man power she has to make her dessert. All credit to her in her leadership in making the dessert! Bravo!
Ding! That is the sound telling us that the starter is ready!
A group photo for the Lasagna team! Well done, guys!
Long seating table is ready for us to take our lunch. Great! I cannot wait any longer!
Seafood Lasagna - I find it this is the best dish for that day. Really creamy and delicious. They put a little too much halibut in it which makes the ratio imbalance a bit but overall it was good!
I cannot taste the beef but according to Sharon it was soft and delicious. She likes it the most.
Swedish Butter Cake with Elderflower Custard & Marinated Strawberries - According to Ms.Minda who is from Sweden, the Swedish butter cake is supposed not to be salty but too bad maybe they had used a salty butter otherwise this dessert is perfect. The elderflower custard is really creamy delicious and the marinated strawberries has bring a little sour delight over the salty cake. 
Ms. Lavin Seow was the special guest of that day. She is is a professional actress, television host, Emcee and producer will be at the event. She is internationally recognized in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who has won many awards  including one for Best Actress in Golden Arts Awards 2005.
A closing speech by Mr. H.E Bengt G Carlsson and Chef Michael Elfwing to wrap up the lunch session. I really would like to salute Chef Michael for all his effort on that day. Truly exceptional! 
Finally a photo session with Ms. Lavin Seow and all other attendees to mark the memorable moments into photographs. This is a great moment and experience for me and everyone here. I am so glad to be invited and I hope to attend more meaningful events like this.
Just can't help myself to take the gorgeous Ms. Lavin after wearing a custom made chef hat and aprons done by the organizer.
Last but not least, I took the opportunity to take a photo with the Man of the Day, Chef Michael Elfwing. Actually, I wanted to ask him this after taken this photo, "Shall we open a Swedish restaurant together? I am confident it is going to be a hit!" Well, I do not have the guts in the end. Hope he will read this post and tell me his answer through my email. Keeping my finger crossed!

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