October 2023: Kita Food Festival in Singapore and KL

Singapore 23 Oct & Kuala Lumpur 30 Oct

September 27,2023, Singapore & Malaysia: Kita Food Festival is bringing a host of world-renowned chefs and food thought leaders together for Kita Conversations as part of the overall food festival which will be held in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October.

Kita Conversations is an on-going dialogue on all thing’s food related. The goal is to build an open platform for people working in the food and beverage industry, plus anybody interested in where food comes from, to discuss the future of food. Topics will focus on food production, history, and consumption in the Southeast Asia region. It will be a platform to discuss gastronomy and the food and beverage industry without the buzzwords that have infiltrated well-meaning concepts such as authenticity, farm to table and sustainability.

Monday October 23 | Kita Conversations, Singapore

Carefully selected by Kita Food Festival’s Singapore Weekender curator – chef Ivan Brehm from Michelin star Nouri, the Singapore event offers a world-class line-up of speakers including:

● Matt Orlando, the American-born, Danish based chef and owner of restaurant Amass, and leader in the sustainable food movement who will be talking about A-I-R: Awareness, Impact and Responsibility.
● London-based chef, teacher and author Anissa Helou, who specialises in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, will be focusing on food of the Islamic world and its impact on today’s foodscape.
● Historian, author of ‘The Food of Singapore Malays: Gastronomic Travels Through the Archipelago’ and winner of the 2023 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Khir Johari, who specialises in Malay food culture, will talk about ‘My Neighbours in Kandahar Street’.
● Indian chef Prateek Sadhu, known as India’s most progressive chef, will be talking about the myth of a singular Indian food identity.
● Nithiya Laila, the presenter of ‘Edible Wild’ on Channel News Asia, a television show which shows how netizens in Asia’s megacities grow, forage and cook with indigenous ingredients, will explain how endemic Kampot pepper garnered international acclaim.
● Dr. Farshad Shishehchian from Blue Aqua, a pioneer in inland aquaculture and the inventor of MixotrophicTM system will discuss growing food sustainably by revolutionizing the world of shrimp farming.
● Australian Matt Stone, arguably the leading sustainable chef in Australian dining and author of ‘The Natural Cook’ will talk about sustainability of the mind and how a chef’s journey towards psychological and emotional wellness impacts management techniques.
● Chef, author and guest chef on Netflix’s Chef’s Table, and also known as the World’s Best Pastry Chef – Will Goldfarb from Ubud’s Room4Dessert topic will be ‘Seeing the Forest for the Trees’ discussing evolution from permaculture to succession forest, and the power of healing through food.
● Australian Pete Smit from Underdog Inn is known for his ‘nose-to-tail’ approach to cooking and his talk is about ‘The Whole Beast: Crafting Entire Menus Out of One Animal’.
● Bangkok’s Deepanker Khosla from Michelin starred Haoma has received world-wide recognition for his sustainable ecosystems and will talk about his journey from a humble garden to large scale farms, and from a food truck to a Michelin star.
● Filipino Kurt Sombero from Singapore’s Kubo will talk about the social and cultural challenges of a Filipino chef cooking menus with one foot on tradition and another on innovation.

Singapore Weekender – Kita Conversations Event Details:
Date: Monday 23rd October, 2023
Time: Starts at 9.30am
Where: The Projector, Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road, #05-000, Singapore Ticket price: SGD99 including networking/cocktail hour. For large groups of 10 or more contact info@kitafoodfestival.com. Tickets can only be purchased on the Festival website www.kitafoodfestival.com

“My goal was to populate a comprehensive panel, introducing folks that could speak to the spirit of Kita. Much has been discussed about how to improve our relationship with the world through reconsidering our actions on the plate and in the kitchen, but I am of the opinion that to generate meaningful impact we must also consider sustainable actions that include our socio-cultural relationships as well as consumption habits. Agrotech, alternative protein sources, historians, anthropologists and chefs, we all eat, we all shop, we all relate. I wanted the talks to reflect that”.

– Ivan Brehm from Nouri and guest curator for Singapore Weekender events.

Monday October 30 | Kita Conversations – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kita Food Festival co-founders Darren Teoh from Michelin star Dewakan and Leisa Tyler from Weeds & More have also curated an international line-up of leaders in the food industry for the Kuala Lumpur event including:

● Australia’s David Thompson is the owner/chef of numerous restaurants including Long Chim Perth, Long Chim Sydney, Aaharn Hong Kong and Aksorn Bangkok. He will discuss the psychological implications of awards and stars on young chefs.
● Author of The Food of Singapore Malays – Khir Johari will discuss the shared culinary histories of Singapore and Malaysia, and that borders are political, not cultural.
● Malaysian born, Australian resident chef and MasterChef winner (Season 9) – Diana Chan
● Dr. Eric Olmedo specialises in the anthropology of food and will talk about the role of chefs in shaping alternative food networks.
● Sustainability expert, founder of Light Blue and food waste hacker Benjamin Lephilibert will talk about how to save money by reducing food waste.
● Chef Chele Gonzalez from Gallery by Chele in the Philippines will focus on how chefs can define and redefine luxury through local ingredients.
● Nithiya Laila, is the TV presenter of ‘Edible Wild’ on Channel News Asia which shows how netizens in Asia’s megacities grow, forage and cook with indigenous ingredients.
● Renowned Canadian speaker and chef Oliver Truesdale-Jutras from Lo&Behold group will discuss the fundamentals of hospitality – what are the core values and why hospitality professionals can and should change the world.
● Executive Sous chef Steffan Heerdt from Grand Hyatt Singapore will talk about how Hyatt turned the five-star city hotel into arguably one of Asia’s most sustainable hotels.
● Swedish born John Regefalk who is the researcher chef and head of culinary innovation at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastián, Spain will talk about the conceptualisation, design, development and validation of new food products.
In addition, there will also be a series of panel discussions on topics such as ‘How to Build a successful F&B business in Malaysia. Some of the presenters will include chef Darren Chin from Michelin star DC restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and Raymond Tham from Karls Group who helms Michelin selected restaurants Skillet KL, and Beta KL

Kuala Lumpur Kita Conversations Event Details:
Date: Monday 30th October, 2023
Where: Petaling Jaya Performing Arts Centre (PJPAC), S611, 2nd floor, 1 Utama E, Utama Shopping Centre
Time: Starts at 9.30am
Ticket price: Book directly on the Kita Festival website www.kitafoodfestival.com, price is RM190 per person including refreshments and networking cocktail hour – large group booking rates for 10 or more people are also available, contact

“Our objective in choosing the speakers for Conversations was clear: to create a lineup that exemplified the sincerity and depth of thought that Kita Conversations embodies. We sought individuals whose expertise and insights transcended the superficial trends often associated with the industry. We hope that we can contribute to a more robust, resilient and authentic F&B landscape and give guests a deeper understanding of the complexities inherent to food production, its history and consumption in SE Asia. We hope they will carry away actionable insights and a genuine appreciation for thoughtful solutions that can steer the industry towards a more sustainable and meaningful future.”

– Kita co-founder and chef/owner of Dewakan, Darren Teoh

About Kita Food Festival
Kita Food Festival (KFF) is an annual food event bringing together leading chefs and culinary minds from around the world. The event was created to put Southeast Asia on the gastro-tourism map while creating a community of people who appreciate good food and where it comes from The event also aims to give the Southeast Asian dining scene a yearly event to look forward to, while offering inspiration and skills for the younger generation of food producers – and a platform for discussing food consumption and the restaurant industry. Kita means “us” or “we” in Bahasa Malayu. This appreciates that in the act of eating, the production of food and caring for a sustainable future, the festival’s main themes go beyond race, colour, creed and socio-economic status.

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