Alumni (Michelin) Star
We are incredibly proud of Malaysian alumnus Darren Teoh who celebrated his second Michelin star at flagship restaurant Dewakan recently....
As any chef who works in the culinary industry will tell you, to achieve one Michelin star is outstanding, to achieve two can be life-changing.
It was therefore incredibly exciting to hear news that IMI alumnus Darren Teoh's Dewakan restaurant has just received its second star in the 2024 guide - becoming the first ever two Michelin-starred restaurant in Malaysia.
Considered the definitive indicator of excellence and innovation in the culinary industry, the Michelin Guide book series has been published since 1900 and has a team of international inspectors regularly assessing restaurants.
The Michelin Guide awards from one to three stars to recognise excellence in restaurants.
According to the Guide's website, the following criteria are assessed when awarding stars: "the quality of the ingredients, the harmony of flavours, the mastery of techniques, the personality of the chef as expressed through their cuisine and, just as importantly, consistency both across the entire menu and over time."
To be awarded two stars, a restaurant must not only use the best ingredients and most refined techniques, but the personality and talent of the chef must also be evident in the dishes being served.
Situated on the 48th floor of Kuala Lumpur's Naza Tower, Dewakan certainly has personality and has been affording its guests spectacular views alongside the equally spectacular food for a number of years now.
First opened in 2015 and with a name that translates as "food from God", it has been credited as one of the first restaurants in the country to offer an authentically Malaysian fine-dining experience with a commitment to using freshly-sourced, local ingredients.
This commitment to locality even stretches as far as the restaurant's dining ware, which has been commissioned from local artists to further enhance the strong sense of locale and place.
The restaurant affords stunning views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
The restaurant started as a joint business venture between UOWMKDU and Darren and has gone from strength-to-strength over the last eight years, winning multiple accolades and awards and regularly being listed as one of the best restaurants in Asia.
As well as his unprecedented success with Dewakan, Darren is also very active in the wider Southeast Asian food scene.
One of the co-founders of the Kita Food Festival, he has been instrumental in bringing together chefs, producers and other interested parties to celebrate the rich food culture of the region through a series of dining events and talks as part of the event's Kita Conversations series.
These talks aim to shine a light on the current state of the food industry, act as an inspiration for future generations of chefs, and emphasise the importance of ecology and sustainability in both culinary practice and consumption.
Participants enjoy the 2023 Kita Food Festival.
Commenting on Dewakan's success, Darren reflected on the drive and determination behind such a unique achievement.
“Being a pioneer means navigating uncharted territory," he said.
"The reward lies in embracing the path few tread and trusting the process despite the absence of footsteps to follow.”
We can't wait to see what lies next for Darren (and Dewakan) in what is already proving to be a stellar culinary career.
One thing's for certain, we are sure he will continue boldly on the road less tread!
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