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Now into its 8th successive year, The Malaysia International Gourmet Festival made its debut in 2001 when the organisers, AsiaReach Events, brought together an intrepid group of 13 restaurants to form the inaugural KL International Gourmet Festival (KLIGF).

That first Festival was started in response to industry cries to help breathe life into what was then a very small fine dining scene. Though Malaysians had always enjoyed dining out, their overriding preference was for traditional restaurants and hawker food. Only a few fine dining restaurants existed for the simple reason there was not a big enough base of local diners to draw upon.

The Festival’s aims from the outset were to increase the size of the local fine dining population for the mutual benefit of the participating restaurants; to create a sustained interest in the local fine dining scene; and, ultimately, to make Malaysia an international food tourism destination of choice.

During the Festival, restaurants put aside their highly competitive differences, share contacts and join together in a collective marketing effort. Rather than bringing in chefs from overseas for a limited food promotion, the Festival’s firm focus is on the skills of the world-class chefs already resident in Malaysia and the all-year-round quality of our cuisine and restaurants.

The idea is also to make fine dining as accessible to as many people as possible and not just an exclusive few. Special Festival Menus sold at special prices and Festival Offers not only help attract a new generation of diners, they also persuade existing diners to try different venues and dine out more often. In addition Festival Awards provide valuable recognition and encourage more people to take up careers in the hospitality sector.

Supported almost entirely by sponsorship and media partners from the private sector, the Festival is now universally recognised as Malaysia’s premier fine dining event. In 2006 KLIGF became MIGF to enable restaurants from all over the country to participate. Last year, the Festival received international recognition by winning the PATA Gold Award for Marketing - an achievement that has helped make Malaysia one of the leading destinations in the world for food tourism.

Epicure Malaysia 2008
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