QNews sat down for a chat with the Queen of the Kitchen herself, Poh Ling Yeow, to talk about headlining Moreton Bay Food & Wine Festival, her approach to cooking and drink pairing with her favourite cuisine, Malaysian street food.
The Moreton Bay Food & Wine Festival is currently simmering away with just days until it’s ready to be served up fresh from 4-6 August.
Waiting in the wings are some of Australia’s biggest names in the culinary world, set to share their top food tips and tricks.
Joining us in Moreton Bay will be Australia’s favourite foodie and best Judy, Poh Ling Yeow from Masterchef Australia, Masterchef: Back to Win, Poh’s Kitchen, Poh & Co., and Snackmasters.
Bringing people together with food
Poh’s debut appearance on The Kitchen Stage at the Moreton Bay Food & Wine Festival is where she gets do what she enjoys most.
“Obviously, I want to use all the beautiful local produce, that will be a big highlight and something that I want to experience.” However, “I always say this, and I always mean it. It’s meeting the people.”
Poh’s explains her love of bringing people together with food and how this has changed how she approaches her demonstrations, which is something she will be bringing to the festival this year.
“I love teaching a skill, rather than a dish,” Poh describes of her food philosophy.
“I like to focus my demonstrations now around things that people will replicate at home, as opposed to showing off for my own pleasure.” Poh continued.
“For me food should always be inclusive and something that brings joy, and where you can laugh openly, loudly and get kind of rowdy. I think that is what food is meant to do.”
From Malaysia to Masterchef
And speaking of rowdy, this isn’t just the Moreton Bay Food Festival, it’s also all about wine and other delicious beverages to pair. Poh is square in her element cooking Malaysian and other South-East Asian street food, so we wanted to take a makrut-lime leaf out of her book and ask what drink is best to pair with her cooking.
“I really love beer with Malaysian food. It’s very chuggable and it’s so punchy, aromatic and floral, which is very similar to South-East Asian cuisine.” Poh explains, adding that the pairing goes beyond simple flavours and extends to geography and culture of the South-East Asian street food.
“It’s knowing the personality of the food you are eating and pairing it. You’re in the street usually, and it’s a very vibrant and unprecious way to eat. You’re slurping and shovelling food into your mouth, beer suits that way of eating. It’s very convivial.”
While Poh primarily indulges in beer when she drinks, she has other tipples that pique her interest, including being introduced to whiskey by fellow Masterchef alum, Reynold Poernomo.
“It actually started when I was on [Masterchef:] Back to Win,” Poh reminisced with a laugh and explained how they would have a whiskey and a debrief after filming. We’d “either celebrate or be depressed with where we were in the competition and have a little social whiskey. It was such a nice thing to wind down with.”
And while Poh isn’t a big gin drinker, the chef plans on taking the Comiskey Distillery’s Gin Workshop at the festival. “Anything that is about making food, I still get very enthusiastic. I love tasting and learning, so I’d definitely still be into that”.
What’s on the menu, Poh?
As Poh leaves to prepare her recipes for the festival, she does so it true Poh style, with a sneak peek into what she will be cooking. A classic Chinese go-to, Poh’s Pot Sticker Dumplings. If you have always wanted to learn how to make these tasty, yet fiddly treats, you know where to go to learn how!
So, if you’re a foodie or even just a fan of Poh Ling Yeow, she will be up on the Kitchen Stage every day at the Moreton Bay Food and Wine festival, along with Miguel Maestre, Alastair McLeod, Kim McCosker, and Dominique Rizzo.
This line-up of culinary masters will be sharing their top tips, tricks, and favourite recipes for you to take home and drool over later.
The Morton Bay Food and Wine Festival runs 4-6 August at Apex Park, Woody Point for three delectable days packed with live entertainment, sunny seashores and, of course, delicious dishes with refreshing bevvies to match.
Skip the food envy and grab your tickets to the festival now!
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