Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Top 10 Food Blog Moments of Johor Kaki Blog
Johor Kaki with the founder of Shui Kee herbal soups 水记炖品 in Batu Pahat
Johor Kaki's first post of 2014 is not a food review, but a review of Johor Kaki itself.
I decided to do this top 10 moments list on impulse, late in the afternoon of 1 Jan 2014.
The previous year had passed breathtakingly fast. Johor Kaki has many things to be thankful for but I felt that I don't have the time for the self indulgence of savouring the year's top moments. There are still so many more food and hawkers stories waiting to be written.
But, when I wanted to set my bearings on where Johor Kaki is going in 2014, I realised that I need to think deeper about where I had been so far.
It is timely to pause and take stock of what Johor Kaki is about.
The events that stuck in my mind are those that have the most impact towards achieving my vision for Johor hawkers and Johor food.
Here are my 10 top moments, if you will bear with my self indulgence.
1. Foodie Blogger TV Series
Click on the photo to view the Johor episode of "Foodie Blogger" series 1
In February 2013, the premiere episode of the NTV7 series "Foodie Blogger" featuring Johor was televised across the country. It was an honour to be on the programme with award winning artiste, Coby Chong 庄可比. I found Coby a talented, lovely and genuine person. The series was a success and work on the second series is now underway. I am honoured to be involved again in the Johor episode of the second series of "Foodie Blogger".
2. Best Malaysia Food Blog Award
In Mar 2013, Johor Kaki was named the Best Food Blog at the Malaysia International Travel Bloggers Conference and Awards (MITBCA) organised by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism. I am happy because this award helped raised the profile of Johor food in Malaysia. I was heartened that during the voting, Johor foodies rallied behind Johor Kaki in social media. I feel the greater consciousness of our foodie community in Johor was an important benefit of this event.
3. Best Singapore Food Blog Award
In July 2013, Johor Kaki was named the Best Food Blog in the Singapore Blog Awards competition organised by Singapore Press Holdings supported by Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information. I am glad that with this award, greater awareness of Johor food and hawkers reached it's nearest neighbour, just across the Causeway.
4. Malaysian Street Food Seminar
Sharing about Johor street food at seminar in Kuala Lumpur.
In September 2013, Johor Kaki was invited to be a panellist at the seminar on Malaysian Street Food organised by Management and Science University. It's great to be able to share about Johor food with a Kuala Lumpur audience together with TV personality/ celebrity Chef Sufiz, TV personality/ AFC host of food show "Best in the World" Razif Hashim and Mansor Omar, Senior Director of Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority.
5. Discovering Johor Small Towns through Food
Johor Kaki has taken me to the quaint, small towns of Johor, in search of good food and our food heritage. This is the small town of Paloh, 30 km off the North-South Highway exit at Yong Peng. We were treated to robust old school Nanyang kopi and regaled with stories by the kopitiam boss, and that alone made the 45 minutes drive through the winding, undulating road one way, worth it. I am looking forward to many more such less travelled roads to explore.
6. Friendships with Chefs, Business Owners and Hawkers
With Gary, the passionate and flamboyant Chef and owner of Grill Bar Steakhouse
To me, writing about a restaurant or stall is never just about the food - a blog post is not a souped up menu card. I feel the story of the food, business and especially the story of the people involved is an important part of food writing. Through Johor Kaki, I enjoyed many special moments getting to know many chefs, business owners and hawkers.
7. Making New Foodie and Food Bloggie Friends
I've made many new friends among foodies from Johor, Singapore and also further afield. We come from all communities, all walks of life but bonded by the shared love of food. Not just food at the level of taste and flavour but also it's deeper meanings. Foodie bloggers, in particular, share a special bond.
8. Showing Overseas Visitors the Best of Johor Food
Johor Kaki with the team from V Publications (Hong Kong) at Restoran ZZ Sup Tulang
The privilege to show unique Johor food to like minded overseas foodies and media is a highlight of my year. Sometimes, I customise a food trail for the visitors based on their preferences or background. Other times, we just jump into the car and let our instincts and impulses take us on a trail of random discoveries and gastronomic adventure :D
9. Top Low Moment
Not every Johor Kaki moment was delicious and rosy. The lowest point was when my trusty old car was struck by a large container truck when I was at it's blind spot. The workshop in Singapore quoted me SGD3,000 to get me a new door. Fortunately, through the help of my friend Alex, he found me a workshop that got it fixed in JB for RM400 including a polish for the affected part :D
10. Every New Fan is a Bright Moment
Johor Kaki Facebook page has over 31,300+ fans as at 1 January 2014
A Johor Kaki fan is never just a number. Every fan is an individual that has put his or her trust in what Johor Kaki has set out to achieve. I am mindful of the heavy responsibility that that entails and am committed to honour the trust of Johor Kaki fans in the integrity of my food writings.
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