Friday, December 2

Renowned Sarawakian chef to serve up art-inspired dishes at Hoan Gallery

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Chef Achang Libat

KUCHING (Aug 17): Renowned Sarawakian chef Achang Libat will be serving up his interpretations of Sarawak’s best known artworks during the Dine With Art at Hoan Gallery, La Promenade Mall starting this Friday (Aug 19).

A press release from La Promenade Mall said Achang, a law student turned chef, is bringing his Sydney culinary skills back to Kuching for six dinners inside the art gallery.

The chef, who is of mixed Kayan-Lun Bawang parentage, is collaborating with Hoan Gallery’s curator Hoan Kee Huang for the ‘omakase’ style treat.

One of the main courses which takes inspiration from the late Micheal Chong’s eastern and western paintings.

“After we met, I realised we have the same artistic process. For us, everything starts from sketches.

“Hoan tells me some (of his) pieces come to mind fully formed, others only reveal themselves as he sketches and paints details. This is similar to how I come up with new dishes. Serving my new dishes inside the gallery next to the art pieces that inspired them really heightens the experience,” said Achang.

Dine With Art will be Achang’s second larger-scale event this year.

In March, Achang staged the highly successful Dine On Clay dinners with Gardencraft.co, serving up food on the works of local clay-makers and potters.

It was a sold-out event with a spin-off ‘Staff Meal Edition’ lunch series launched to high demand.

“Fine-dining in Kuching is going through a revolution. Kuching has just gotten the Unesco’s Creative City of Gastronomy. As a Kayan-Lun Bawang chef, it makes me so proud that more people are appreciating local,” he said.

He added the perception of fine-dining has changed from imported expensive ingredients to local ingredients like midin, umai, bario rice and tuak.

“What about local artists, like rediscovering our great artists such as Hoan Kee Huang, the late Micheal Chong, while highlighting the works of Stephanie Eng, Lam Siong Onn? Looking ahead, we’re all just so excited.”

Hoan, who is similarly enthusiastic, said he is expecting a one-of-a-kind experience for foodies and art lovers.

“I wanted great food with great creativity and absolute uniqueness. I want to showcase art. I’m excited for the public to try Dine With Art. I’m also a little nervous, and on top of everything, we both wanted it to be ‘affordable’.

“We want to reach the mass market and do more in the future,” Hoan said.

The dinner is priced at RM228 per person. A beverage menu includes wine, tuak and non-alcoholic options like Bunga Kantan infused water, flavoursome Sarawak Liberica coffee and Dong Ding Oolong Tea.

The dishes in Dine With Art are all inspired by Hoan Gallery’s opening exhibit, Rebirth.

Achang’s team will create some dishes right in front of the diners.

A batik inspired desert will be made at the start at the first course and be completed just in time for the final course.

For more information, visit hoangallery.com and lapromenademall.com.my, or search @hoanartgallery or @lapromenademall on social media.