Monday, September 17, 2012

Celebrity Chef Rohani Jelani cooking with Zespri Kiwi Fruits


Two weeks ago, I received a facebook message from Yan of “Eat your heart out” saying that she had passed my email address to a lady called Hazel and she would be writing to me to invite me to Zespri kiwi fruits event where we would learn all about their products. When I received the email from Hazel, I did not think twice and confirmed my attendance. Know why? Because it was being held in this scenic and serene place called Bayan Indah. I have heard positive comments from many friends about their culinary learning experiences there, in the midst of a beautiful garden setting.


Furthermore, I knew I would get to meet Celebrity Chef Rohani Jelani and see her in action, how cool is that? Sure, I was so pleased to go even though I knew I would have a hard time finding the place with my poor sense of direction. I was right, I could not locate the place on my GPS and when I looked at the address and the location map provided, I got lost already! LOL!

Finally the day of the event arrived, and I woke up 7.00am to get prepared to head out at 8:00  am. The event was to start at 10.00am. I knew what you must be thinking, why two hours?  For those who know me, they would know why. That’s because I give myself enough time to get lost and find my way back to the destination. True enough, I did it again! I landed in a small kampung up the hill with very narrow road where there was access for one car only at a time. When I was at the top of the hill reaching the last house, it was a dead end road. AIYOH! I found that I was stranded! There was hardly enough place to turn the car around. I was saying to myself "Say Lor!" (Die!)

OH MY GOODNESS! I was thinking, I can forget about going to the event. How am I going to go back down the hill and make it there on time? Suddenly, one young Malay gentleman came out of his house. I told him I could not turn my car around and asked if he knew where Bayan Indah is situated. I showed him the map and he said he knew the  way to the place. He was so kind to help me turn my car around and even lead me to the door step of my destination.  If only the world has more kind souls like him, it would be so much a better place to live in. It is a comfort to know there are still lots of kind people around. 


Now, guess what? I was the first one to arrive. Later the rest of the attendees arrived. There were people from the media, including magazines and several other food bloggers. We were then each offered a Zespri kiwi smoothie as a welcome drink.


The kiwi smoothies were delicious and I could not help but take another.

After all the guests arrived, we were asked to sit back and relax and get ready to hear all about Zespri system, their products.
An informative presentation given by 
the Marketing Manager (SEA), Miss Judy Lee of Zespri 

And a talk about the goodness of kiwi fruits by Dietician, Miss Ng Yee Voon 

For example I learned that when we eat fruits we want to choose those that have the highest nutrition density index and kiwi fruit is on the top of the chart. 



Ten Fabulous Facts About Kiwifruit

1.            Kiwifruit are the nutrition powerhouses of fruit
            
Kiwifruit consistently rank at the top of fruit in nutrition density models which tell us exactly how nutritious food are. That means you get more vitamins and minerals per gram, and per calorie, of kiwifruit than most other fruit.

2.            Kiwifruit are rich in vitamin C
            
While everyone always think of oranges for vitamin C they should think kiwifruit. In fact there is twice as much vitamin C in kiwifruit as there are in oranges. So much in fact you only need one kiwifruit each day to get the amount recommended for your daily intake (RDA).

3.            Other vitamins that kiwifruit are especially high in (compared to other fruit) are
            
Vitamin E
Its quite unusual for a low fat food, let alone fruit to be a good source of vitamin E (well known for its heart health and antioxidant properties) - but kiwifruit is a great low fat natural source of vitamin E

Folic Acid
A natural source of folic acid which is needed to prevent neural defects in babies (you need folic acid both before and during pregnancy) as well as brain and cognitive development in children and cardiovascular disease. Everyone needs to have enough in their diet. In fact folic acid is so important many countries are considering adding Folic Acid to flour to ensure we get enough.

Potassium
It has about the same levels as bananas but only half the calories - making kiwifruit an excellent low sodium, increased potassium source - potentially beneficial in the maintenance of blood pressure and for heart health.

4.             Kiwifruit are a good source of the carotenoid lutein
            
Kiwifruit has not only one of the highest concentrations of lutein in fruits - but the lutein in kiwifruit has recently been shown to be really highly bioaccessible (better than from vegetables) and so it is bio-available - meaning it can actually do good things such as help to prevent age related deterioration of eye-sight.

5.            Kiwifruit are naturally high in antioxidants (e.g. polyphenols, carotenoids) and other potentially beneficial phytochemicals including some unique enzymes
            
Eating kiwifruit is a sure way to get your daily intake of antioxidants to help fight the damage cause by free radicals and oxidative stress.

6.            Kiwifruit can help improve the function of your immune system
            
Natural protection from daily challenges helping you to ward off the effects of stress, inflammation and attack from bacteria and viruses. Recent and ongoing trials have shown kiwifruit to be highly effective at beneficially modulating the immune system.


Next, we were prompted to buy the best quality and now that I know Zespri system ensures that all ZESPRI products are grown with the best orchard management techniques possible and very stringent in quality control of the fruits, I will probably buy Zespri kiwi over others. 

If you are interested to know more about Zespri kiwifruits, do head over to their website to read all about it. I do not mind making this testimonial to the brand. They have a high commitment to the best possible product and that product is a very healthy food.

Oh, and apparently Zespri is holding a contest for Malaysians to come up with creative recipes using their kiwifruits as the main ingredient. Last day of submission of entries is 24th September 2012, so put on your thinking cap and let your creative juice flows. Who knows?  You might be one of the 5 lucky winners to receive Zespri premiums worth more than RM 100.00.

You may contact Hazel (hazel@world.com.my) or Adrian (adrian@world.com.my) if you want to know more about the  competition.


After understanding all about Zespri kiwi , it was time to have some fun. We all headed to the Bayan Indah's kitchen. As soon as we reached the dining area beside the kitchen, we were greeted with beautiful and yummy kiwi cupcakes and lovely table settings and two shiny stainless steel poles. 



Kiwi fruits were used as the center piece.

Before Chef Rohani does her cooking demo, there was a pole dancing performance. 


When the instructor asked the audience to try, everyone was so shy to even go near the pole. So yours truly, went and tried it out to break the ice. The rest followed. Trust me, it was not easy, especially for an old lady. If you want to see me in action, you can head over to Sonia of “Nasi Lemak Lover” to see it. She took a great shot of me flying off the pole! (Just kidding). I should warn you, you might be very disappointed by what you will see. Haiyah, what do you expect from an old lady doing the pole dance ha? LOL!

Then came the most interesting part of the event, the cooking demo by Chef Rohani, showing us various methods of cutting the kiwi fruits before the hands-on session of cooking three of her recipes using Zespri Kiwi Fruits. 

Demo by Chef Rohani showed different ways of cutting kiwi




I will let my photos speak to you from here on.

Our station is No.3 and there were four of us me, Sonia of "Nasi Lemak Lover", Swee San of  "The Sweetspots" and Eveyln of "Missyblurkit" preparing four dishes:

kiwi fruit platter

Spicy Zespri kiwifruit, glass noodle and chicken salad
Swee San is the one who did most of the work on this dish

Nyonya style asam fish curry with Zespri kiwifruit wedges
Sonia and I cooked this together

Zespri kiwifruit pastries with yoghurt cream and kiwi jam
Eveyln did most of the work for the jam

Everyone did their own plating for the dessert and this is what I did for mine


The most fun part was that we all enjoyed ourselves cooking up the dishes and they tasted awesome!
























and of course we had to have a group photo for the album

and for me, I must have one shot with the Celebrity Chef Rohani
for my album


Check this video out and see how much fun we had!

36 comments:

  1. That's a lovely place! I'm sure I'd have got lost too!
    I was disappointed it was a Friday event since that's my busy day. I'm hoping they'll invite me again next time. This sounds like so much fun!
    I am already a Zespri fan. But these ideas are fantastic! I wouldn't have thought of using them in assam curry.
    Best of all ... I looooovvveee the pic of you strangling the pole (no, I really meant strangle, not straddle) at Sonia's post :D
    You're such a great sport!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ping, we do not need anyone to invite us to go to Bayan Indah, let's go there together one day and take a cooking class together. hahaha, as regards to the picture of me trying to be a pole dance, I am not sure if I am strangling the pole or the pole is strangling me!! LOL!

      Delete
  2. Oh, how come there was no picture of Yen?She didn't go? I saw your "pole dancing" photo from Sonia!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oooo...what a lovely place! Wahhhh!!! Eat kiwi fruit can do pole dancing like that kah? Muahahahaha!!!! Sure, would be very nice in salad...but I wonder about the fruit in assam fish curry. Hmmm...would love to try that some day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The place is really lovely. You have any interest to go for a cooking class there when you are in KL next? I can arrange:D

      Delete
  4. hi Quay Po, it must have been so fun
    i always love zepri kiwi both green and yellow
    so great to know it can be used in many cookings and bakings too!
    btw, i saw u did pole dancing from Sonia, really cute :) great job, Quay Po :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alice, yes, I never thought of cooking with kiwi before this. That picture of me pole dancing is hilarious.

      Delete
  5. Quay Po, please excuse me, but I can't stop laughing at that photo of you clinging on for dear life on the pole. I keep going back to look at it and laugh (my guilty pleasure) and you are really so sporting :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phong Hong, if that picture gives you so much joy, I am glad I did that! hehe

      Delete
  6. Phong Hong, don't laugh at the Quay Po, if i were doing this and i will be the same,hahaha.. Veron, too bad, i did not catch when you swinging arouns the pole with your body upside down, that was sexy and very impressive, hehehe..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonia Ya lor, I will have to send you for photography lessons. LOL!

      Delete
  7. Veron, am so glad you enjoying the cooking class. Will try n get you to more of them, if I can. ;) Btw I saw that photo of you on the pole dancing on Sonia's blog... u r so awesome lah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yen Thanks again for passing my contact to Hazel. I really enjoyed myself. It would be more fun if the next time we both can cook together.

      Delete
  8. A lovely experience and how nice to get an invitation to cook, eat and enjoy great company.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a wonderful experience and get to know some new friends too.

      Delete
  9. Sounds like it was a fantastic experience. Kiwis in curry! I'll have to try that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. time to go and grab s box of zespri..but more important is have a look at your pole photo first..byeiii!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go, go, go my dear, get the box of Zespri kiwi. You will love it.

      Delete
  11. just seen the photo! LOL! cant stop laughing at that pose of your legs! arrhahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahhaha, you are like Phong Hong, laughing at me ha? Sob! Sob! (just kidding). No, actually it brings me joy to know that the photo makes you guys laugh.

      Delete
  12. Hi Veron, so happy to have finally meet you! Too bad I don't have much time to hang out around you girls. Sighhh that's the thing with the assistants when the class is in full swing. Glad you enjoyed the event.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to meet you person too my dear. Thanks for all the help in the kitchen that day.

      Delete
  13. Same goes to me, I'll get lost even with GPS haha
    Nice food with kiwi. I love the kiwi muffin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vicky, you made my day to know that I am not alone about getting lot even with GPS. LOL!

      Delete
  14. Yes, the place looks familiar. One of my friends posted on fb before. You are really brave and sporting to be the first one to break the ice. Bravo to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn. Well, I have held classes before so I knew someone had to break the ice before the others will follow.

      Delete
  15. wow what a beautiful retreat place to cook in. so much fun, with interesting recipes, too bad I can't make it..
    p/s: love how you hug the pole :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shannon, ya if only you and PIng are there, it will be even more fun to see you both roll on the floor laughing at me trying to be a pole dancer. hehehe... I should be very good at hugging the pole because I hug one huge fat one everyday, (my Quay Lo) LOL!

      Delete
  16. That's a beautiful place. I was amazed by the amount of food that can be cooked with Kiwi, especially the assam fish curry with kiwi. I normally have them raw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya, me too. This the first time I eat kiwi cooked in dishes.

      Delete
  17. I prefer golden kiwi, more sweeter :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. The golden ones are sweeter.

      Delete
  18. Sobs...i missed out this event as it was a working day. Now i am drooling over all the food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yee Ling, I just told Arthur that the next time he comes to KL, lets go and take a cooking class together in Bayan Indah. That will be fun. We will drag Kathy along.

      Delete

I love to hear from you. Your comments mean a lot to me. Thanks!