Foosion Cooking Competition aims to highlight Bruneian ingredients in modern cooking
One of the surest ways to learn more about culture and tradition is food.
The late Anthony Bourdain once said: “Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” And he was spot on.
Foosion by UNO is an ambitious project run by public service officers under the Young Executive Program (YEP), an initiative by the Prime Minister’s Office to identify and mentor young leaders so they achieve their potential.
The goal was simple: To feature Bruneian ingredients in modern cooking in a competition in order to increase awareness about local produce among the young generation.
The competition took place at the Eco Ponies Garden in Tutong, a place known for its richness and diversity in local food ingredients.
Participants in the competition were asked to come up with their best dishes using two ‘secret’ ingredients — Bunga Telang (Butterfly Pea or Asian Pigeonwings) and Terung Iban (Iban Eggplant) —both ingredients which are used extensively by the indigenous groups of Borneo.
Their dishes were later brought to a panel of judges comprising chefs from restaurants and culinary institutions.
Hj Sawaz Hj Ali and Jamilatul Wahidah Wahid, of Team Jongsarat, beat 10 other contestants buy creatively using the Terung Dayak as part of their Balutak (cow’s intestines, organs and trimmings) Lasagna.
They also wowed the judges with their mocktail and vanilla sky-blue cake, both of which were infused with Bunga Telang.
Events like Foosion are important for Brunei because this helps ensure the continuity of local traditions, including the passing down of knowledge to the youth.