Celebration of flavours

(from left) Tastefully Malaysia business development director Jin Lee, Abdul Malik, Fong, Dr Ramle and Plantation and Commodities Ministry (cocoa and pepper industry development division) secretary Cheah Chee Fong at the launch gimmick of the festival at Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

GET ready to satisfy your sweet tooth, as the much-awaited inaugural Pastry and Cocoa Festival 2023 comes to tantalise city folks with various delectable options and flavours.

Pastry and chocolate lovers will be spoilt for choice with the numerous selections being offered at the festival, being held at Hall 1, Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

The festival takes place from 10am to 10pm.

In collaboration with the Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB) as its principal partner this year, the three-day festival that ends on May 21, promises a feast for the senses, providing an immersive experience into the world of tasty pastries, snacks, drinks and heavenly cocoa.

From expertly crafted croissants to mouth-watering chocolate creations, visitors will have the opportunity to taste and discover a wide array of delightful treats.

At the opening ceremony of the Pastry and Cocoa Festival, MCB director-general Dr Ramle Kasin, who was the guest of honour, said the first-time collaboration between MCB and Tastefully Malaysia Sdn Bhd for the festival is aimed to support its initiatives to promote the cocoa downstream product chain, such as semi-processed cocoa products, chocolate products, cocoa confections, downstream food products and non-food based on cocoa.

“We are expecting the three-day festival to attract over 65,000 visitors, with estimated sales value worth RM1.5mil,” he said.

Dr Ramle said such a programme was expected to promote Malaysians to be involved in food entrepreneurship.

“One of the players of the cocoa industry is hand-made chocolate entrepreneurs. So far, we have 248 chocolate entrepreneurs under our (MCB) guidance.

There is a target to increase 10 entrepreneurs on a yearly basis, who will be given advice on construction of a premise, basic equipment for chocolate making and courses, he said.

He added that the MCB guided hand-made chocolate entrepreneurs have produced 103 metric tonnes of chocolates worth RM6.84mil last year, and aim to achieve 113 metric tonnes chocolate products worth RM7mil this year.

He shared that the cocoa industry had contributed RM7.8bil in export value last year, and that it is targeting to increase to RM8bil for cocoa exports this year.

“The production of cocoa products, such as chocolate, has developed extensively.The increase of the export for chocolate within the 10-year period, from 2012 to 2022 is from RM353mil to RM1.49bil.

“The increase is supported by higher demand from Japan (20.7%), China (12.5%) and Asean countries, such as Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia,” he elaborated.

Also present was National Consumer Action Council (MTPN) Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory president Abdul Malik Jamaran and Tastefully Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Esther Fong.

Speaking to reporters later, Fong said that they organised the inaugural festival this year with 100 booths.

“We want to have it annually, and hold nationwide tours on pasty and cocoa products.”

In her speech, she hoped that each visitor would bring back “sweet memories” upon visiting the booths.

There was a lively dance performance to entertain the guests.

The festival boasts an impressive line-up of renowned pastry chefs, chocolatiers and dessert experts who continuously showcase their skills through live demonstrations and interactive workshops.

In addition to the gastronomic delights, the festival featured over 200 curated selection of artisanal cocoa products, confectionery stalls and specialty vendors.

It included 24 exhibitors from the cocoa industry.

Visitors can indulge in chocolate tastings, explore unique flavour combinations and take home delectable souvenirs to enjoy with their loved ones.

Siti Noraizah offering chocolates to the visitors at the booth.Siti Noraizah offering chocolates to the visitors at the booth.

One of the exhibitors, Chocsvalley, from Seremban, offered over 50 types of chocolates, priced from RM8.90 each.

Its chief chocolatier and director Siti Noraizah Kassim said that she was involved in the chocolate business because of its “big potential” in Malaysia and its “high-value products”.

“Chocolate is a universal product and can attract people from all walks of life,” Siti Noraizah said.

Another exhibitor was Majulah Koko (Tawau) Sdn Bhd, from Sabah, sold two types of cocoa drinks, cocoa powder, cocoa syrup and cocoa spread.

Thien served cocoa drink and cookies to the visitors at their booth.Thien served cocoa drink and cookies to the visitors at their booth.

Its sales administrator Thien Yue Er said that they have received encouraging responses for all the products being exhibited at its booth.

Save the dates and indulge in the exquisite world of pastries and cocoa at the upcoming Pastry and Cocoa Festival, scheduled to be held from June 9 to 11 at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre.

This one-stop foodies can only be experienced at the festival and is powered by Tastefully Food Expo and supported by Space X. MTPN is the strategic partner.

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