BY CK Lam
Asian Food Channel’s (AFC) new cooking show, Chalk & Cheese, is presented by Penang’s very own Chef Tommes, owner of That Little Wine Bar and Irrawaddy Fine Foods, a New York- styled delicatessen.
In the show, Tommes and co-host JoJo Struys take us on a gastronomic tour of several locations in Malaysia. The focus is on fresh, natural ingredients that are used to make meat and seafood courses, pizzas, noodles and desserts. Some of these dishes are offered at That Little Wine Bar, and each week, the menu of the episode will also be available on the special’s board.
The show takes you from the beaches of Cherating to Penang’s Batu Ferringhi, but much of the show is filmed in Tommes’s kitchen in his restored heritage property in Penang.
Tommes and his wife Louise recently hosted a sneak preview of the show at Irrawaddy Fine Foods. The episode screened was one that had Tommes using a local key ingredient.
The event also featured a question-and-answer session with Tommes, who shared his experience of his first TV cooking show experience. “Don’t just cook, think!” said Tommes, who will be sharing his trade secrets with viewers. “Start understanding what is going on in your pan and you will be a much better cook.”
Bringing new flavours to the island’s culinary scene, Tommes and his That Little Wine Bar has been winning Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards in 2010 and last year. Often seen collaborating with other well-known Penang chefs, he also strives to contribute his expertise to training aspiring chefs.
Chalk & Cheese, which comprises 12 episodes, makes its debut on Feb 20 at 9pm.
* Many thanks to Craig for laying on this invitation.
* This is a reproduction of my article published in New Straits Times