Two days ago, I manage to meet up with this wonderful Chef Norman Musa in action at Boarders, The Gardens, looking at him preparing and showing us the simplest way to cook a dish within minutes away with simple ingredients. With one of the audience to be his acting chef on behalf of him, seems to be cooking perfectly well.
While Chef Norman inspect and he mention that he is purely againts using MSG in his food as he promotes healthy cooking, as the alternative of that, he concerntrate more on salt, sugar and the best ingredient of the day to make up his dish.
Open to Q n A session time, as he answer most of them in a very cheerfull way. He did mention that why Malaysian Audience are so quiet that he used to be one but after landed at UK for a few years and now, he could not stop talking.
After inspection, his assistant chef had done a good job and ready to be served to all of us to try it out.
One of the simple dish to prepare is ‘Ginger Steam Fish’
After his mini cooking demo, me and Yvonne manage to had a quick chat with him and we did throw him a few questions as we were very curious…. and here it goes:
1) What makes you likes cooking?
Well, you know as being independent overseas and most of the things are expensive to dine out yet miss some home cook food, therefore as no choice we have to learn how to cook ourselves. Part of it, my mom did inspired me and also a major influence, I remembered when I was young I always like a sou chef to my mom, cutting and preparing ingredient for my mom too cook. Then as I came here, most of the time when I am lost, I always make long distance call back to my mom asking her how do I cook this, what should I prepare? What are the steps, yet till today, my mom still the best chef!
2) Most of the chef have their very good skills or signature I would say, what is yours? I am curious to know. . .
*stare at me seriously then laugh. . . Curry, curry is very challenging as I believe till today, you love eating curry yet do not know what are the actual ingredient in it and how many spices are added, for me I just love to discover from the very bottom till the root of it and makes a good curry with the special spices that I can find.
3) What did you study in UK?
I Major in Quantity Surveyor
4)Wow… that’s 2 big difference, what makes you change your passion in your career?
In UK back to those days, I love hosting my friends in my house and I love being chef at home, as it makes me feel at home and my mom are just my mentor from far away. Then I decided to give it a try since Quantity Surveyor at that time is quite competitive.
5) Where did you learn all the recepi from?
Major part of the recepi, I inheriteed the secrets from my mom. I did some of the changes in my recepi in my restaurant to suits the local market and some of the recepi, you will definately love it. If you do come to UK do give me a call and I’ll let you try… *laugh evilly
6) What makes you open Ning Restaurant?
It was just me and my friend were dreaming and laughing all the way in opening a restaurant but I never dreamt that I would actually open one, with my business partner Andy that loves to eat sees the industry and decided to jump in just like that, and it opens its door at year 2006.
7) Having that you appear in the foreign Tv’s and Media, have you work with any celebrities before?
Yes, I sure did with one of the famous Chef Gordan Ramsay that he actually did a local filming back in Malaysia and he actually invited me to that show. The Great Escape. Besides him, I did work with Racheal Allen – famous Irish Chef on Market Kitchen and also a few more like Mark Sargeant and Mark Tebbutt
8) Ahem.. what about local scene? Arent you coming back to Malaysia?
Definately I am, as for now I am actually discussing with one of our local TV media on my cooking show and its still my secret, hopefully everything goes on well, you will be definately seeing me on TV next mid of the year~
9) I also get to knwo that you are also the Chef for our Lotus Formula One Racing Team. What do you usually prepared for them?
For me, I always believe in local food, therefore I push my Curry Rendang to the VIP’s and the crew yet I actually secretly compete with the other two chef that whose dish finish first. Guess what? The VIP’s finish my Curry Rendang first compare to the rest of the dishes available.
10) ahhh.. In your book also mention that you teach? What inspired you to start your own cooking class?
The people in UK are very warm and friendly, especially I see how passionate they are in learning new dishes from other countries and I also always wanted to promote Malaysian food by teaching them how to cook classic dishes like Rendang, Gulai and Murtabak.
11) What is your ambition as being a successfull chef?
*laughed . . . nothing big actually as part of my dream did come true by being the chef for the F1 Lotues racing team but I just want to be Global Food Ambassador for Malaysia by promoting Malaysian food to most of the people at other countries whom are not familiar with our countries
From that, we did chat a little while then I felt very happy that I manage to ask the chef to do this for me.
To autograph for me in his cooking book.
Yay… another cooking book collection with famous chef signature added into my library.
If you guys would like to get hands on his great book, you can find it at most of the major bookstore near you at RM69.90 which tells you the tales of his story and the most important, his best 50 recepi to be shared to all of us.
After going through the book, I find this recepi is pretty simple and takes very little time to prepare ‘Sotong Berlada’
With a bit more challenging that you want to test your skills and taste bud, lets start cooking ‘Ayam Masak Merah’.
What more can I say, that his first book in the market yet getting his popularity in UK not in homeground, what could you ask for more, I think its a cooking recepi suits more for people like me. Simple and easy.