Has one year really flown by so fast? I remember as if it were just yesterday that I met Debbie Teoh, Nyonya Chef extraordinaire for the first time at Parkroyal hotel. She was cooking up a storm for last year’s Nyonya promotion and it was there, that I first became hooked on her terrific cooking.
Chef Debbie Teoh
This year, she is back at Parkroyal Hotel Kuala Lumpur with her newest promotion entitled “A Touch of Nyonya Influence”. Chef Debbie Teoh, will be cooking up a storm between the 11 May till 10 June 2012. You can check it out as she prepares her signature Nyonya dishes at Chatz Brasserie through lavish buffets, cooking demonstrations and interactive cooking classes for fathers and kids.
Lemak Nenas Ikan Sepat – this rich and creamy curry has nice, thick cuts of juicy pineapples in it. The Nyonya practice is to add some special Salted fish to it that cuts through the richness of the coconut curry and gives the dish added kick
With more than 15 years of experience in the food industry, Chef Debbie Teoh is a true-bred Nyonya who hails from Malacca. Her father is a Baba from Malacca, and her mother is a Nyonya from Penang. It is no surprise as to how her forte in Nyonya cuisine for both Southern and Northern Nyonya styles came about. She also has vast experience in Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Western cuisine for both cooking and baking. Adding to that, with both sides of her family being inspiring cooks, this is where Chef Debbie obtained her skills in the culinary profession.
Speaking to Debbie, she tells us this.. ” I grew up in Malacca where I felt like I was the little ugly duckling or black sheep due to the fact that I could not speak any Chinese dialects such as Mandarin especially. Back then, in Malacca, most Chinese people spoke Mandarin, but since I went to a Convent school that was run by Sisters, we spoke English and Bahasa only. I went for Chinese Mandarin classes but we didn’t speak the lingo at home or use it. Whenever we went to shops or stalls, people would scold me or say things like “you are OCBC -orang cina bukan cina” (translation -looks chinese but not chinese!) As a result, I preferred to hang out with mostly Malay kids or Peranakan kids. My maternal Grandma was from a rich family in Penang and she could speak perfect English, read widely, played the piano and smoked – not a norm for ladies during her era. She always had a maid and wore the kebaya with a sanggul(hair accessory) that tied up her hair. She gave up her sanggul the moment she had a stroke which made her hand weak and unable to tie up her hair. She was strict on all of us but never made us cook as we had nannies to do it for us. English was the medium of communication for us and some hokkien.”
Going deeper into her background she reveals, “My paternal Grandma passed away when my dad was young, so we never knew her but Great Grandma was a Malay lady by the name of Aminah. My paternal grandpa was the headmaster of the Banda Hilir English School [BHES], Master Teoh. He was also a strict person who loved ballroom dancing and playing the violin. He loved dancing so much that he built a dancing hall at the back of his home in Banda Hilir which has since been sold. Peranakan ‘patois’ patua was the medium of communication and English most of the time.”
Terung dengan Sambal Udang Kering (aubergine with dry shrimp sambal)
Debbie tells us how her parents met – “Mom met dad when my maternal grandpa was transferred from Penang to Malacca. Till today, I still feel most at home with the Malay stall vendors as my Hokkien dialect is more Penang style Hokkien. Actually now in KL, there are a lot more Penangnites who operate stalls and this has made the Hokkien dialect easily understood compared to say 20 years ago. So things are getting easier for me”
me and Debbie!
Well not only is Debbie a culinary expert, she is also a foodie, author, food stylist, ambassador for the Nyonya cuisine and culture, and once again, at Chatz Brasserie as its guest chef. Among the numerous cookbooks she has authored are ‘Underwraps’ and ‘Asian Titbits’, ‘Penang Food’ guide and cookbook and ‘Nyonya Flavours’, as well as ‘Authentic Nyonya Tastes’. On a monthly basis, Debbie also contributes to magazines like ‘Oriental Cuisine’ by Nanyang Press and ‘Flavours’ by Star Publications. She is also a Nyonya Food Consultant for Tourism Malaysia.
Ulam Platter – Raw vegetables (mint leaves, cucumbers, four angled beans etc) eaten with a chili sambal
Itek Tim – Savoury duck soup with salted mustard vegetables
Chef Debbie Teoh will present her authentic Nyonya cuisine to guests in buffets starting from the 11th of May for one month. Don’t miss this chance to sample her food. From Monday to Friday, indulge in Nyonya cuisine in Buffet Lunch priced at RM62++ per person while Buffet Dinners are also available everyday at RM82++ per person. On weekends you may choose to check out the Nyonya Weekend Hi-Tea priced at RM59++ per person. Some of Chef Debbie’s dishes that are not to be missed during this promotion are ‘Ayam Buah Keluak’, ‘Hu Pio Soup’ and ‘Lemak Udang Nenas’. Her ‘Roti Ayam’ is also a must try!
Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken with keluak)
chunky seafood otak-otak with fish fillet, prawns and squid
Gulai Tumis Ikan Pari (Sting ray)
For Mother’s Day on the 13th of May, there will be a Mother’s Day Brunch priced at RM68++ per adult and RM34++ per child. With an additional RM10, fathers and kids can cook for mothers in a cooking session assisted by Chef Debbie.
Guests staying at Parkroyal hotel or Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur are entitled to a 20% discount off the Nyonya cuisine promotion while senior citizens above the age of 55 enjoy 50% discount off. UOB and CIMB cardmembers enjoy special discounts as well.
Add: Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur
Within Malaysia: 1800 220 021 Prior reservation is required. For reservations call +60 3 2147 0088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org