Speech by YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng
Penang Chief Minister
The Opening of Penang International Food Festival 2018
15th April 2018 @ Lebuh Pantai, George Town
What an honour it is to open the second Penang International Food Festival at our beloved Lebuh Pantai. This iconic strip is home to some of our city’s finest street food hawkers, and tonight, hawkers statewide have gathered here for PIFF’s two-day Street Food Festival.
Penang’s world-famous street food has placed our city on the global culinary map, so it makes perfect sense that PIFF’s opening event be the Street Food Festival, a celebration of our hardworking hawker heroes and their famed, glorious food.
Revered publications and websites such as Culture Trip, CNN Travel, and more, have included Penang and its acclaimed dishes on their esteemed lists. One notable example is our famous and tasty Assam Laksa ranking seventh in CNN Travel’s ‘World’s 50 Best Foods’ list. This illustrates Penang’s high-ranking reputation amongst the world’s finest culinary cultures.
PIFF this year will be a 16-day event with three major events, six Mini Festivals and three Dining Experiences at a cost of RM1.5 million funded by the State Government. The Festival kicks off with a Street Food Festival this weekend, with a theme of Penang’s Hawker Heroes. As you can see here today, we have 119 stalls of Penang street food where 94% (112) of them are hawker heroes with more than 5 years of experience.
Next weekend, the festival will showcase the best of Penang’s cafes, restaurants and hotel F&Bs at Jalan Kelawai. Cafes and restaurants with unique food and beverages, and our hotels’ F&Bs will bring out their delectable and exquisite creations. There will also be Chefs’ Demonstrations by the GCCA (Golden Chef Culinary Association), as well as other local chefs showcasing food creation with Penang flavours. Also joining us at TOP’s Chefs’ Demonstration is the Japan and Indonesia Embassy.
To end the scrumptious 16 days, Penang will challenge to achieve a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the Largest Food Truck Rally in the world. The third major event – Food Truck Invasion (FTI) will see more than 150 food trucks gathered at the Design Village Penang offering food from more than 10 different cuisines. To hype up the cheery evening further, don’t miss exciting performances by international buskers who have been brought in specially for this.
In between these three major events will be mini-festivals dedicated to a different element of the Penang food scene; these are Meatless Monday, Kopi ‘O’, Mini Curry Festival, Thirsty Thursday, Crispy Fryday, and RM2 Mini Food Festival. This rich selection indicates the layered and diverse options available to Penang’s food lovers.
Other unmissable PIFF pocket events include the exclusive Dining Experiences that offer extraordinary locations as dining settings. Dining Amid Water, Dining Amid Heritage, and Dining Amid Stars will be held at unconventional venues with exquisite views.
Back to PIFF.
I do hope everyone has a memorable and joyous PIFF2018, and sample as much food and drink as they can! What are you waiting for, let’s makan!