It was a friendship that started in Trafalgar Square, London several years ago.
Chef Norman Musa was involved in a cooking demonstration there when he was approached by Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, who was then the Tengku Puan of Pahang.
At first, Norman didn’t recognise her.
“I felt so embarrassed as I was later informed that she is Tengku Puan of Pahang. But that was the starting point of our friendship as she has kept in touch since,” said Norman, who is also a television host and an award-winning cookbook author.
“When I was in UK, Tunku Azizah passed me several copies of her (cook) books … they were heavy but very good books.”
Now based in The Hague, Norman will pay tribute to Tunku Azizah, who is now the Raja Permaisuri Agong, through an online cooking demonstration in a bid to promote Malaysian food to the world.
Norman will be joined by Melissa Feij who is also based in The Netherlands in this evening’s (6pm, Kuala Lumpur time) episode of Masters of Malaysian Cuisine (MOMC), ‘Celebrating the Royal Recipes by Her Majesty the Queen of Malaysia’.
The duo will cook two dishes from Tunku Azizah’s recipe book – Opor Burung (braised quails in herbs and spices) and Ikan Garaman (salty fish in coconut gravy).
Two other celebrated chefs – Jackie M. and Liam Ghani – will be co-hosting from Sydney and Stanford (South Africa) respectively.
Tunku Azizah is scheduled to make a special appearance.
“MOMC is a cook-along broadcast that started in June. Jackie M started live cooking videos online and I reached out to her, suggesting that we collaborate. We’ve also been working with other chefs since.
“I asked Tuanku if she would appear on the show and Tuanku said yes.”
Besides Jackie and Norman, the other distinguished MOMC chefs include Johari Edrus, Pearly Kee, Zaleha Olpin, Dave Murugaya, Rene Juefri, Debbie Teoh and Nora Haron.
“For the Dec 31 episode, we wanted to make something different and unique. We often hear about prawn and chicken dishes, so we opted for the Opor Burung and Ikan Garaman recipes instead.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting time.”
Other chefs who will appear on the show include Franics Kuijk (The Netherlands), Gotz A. Primke (Germany), Nora French (The Netherlands), Paul Gray (South Africa), Datuk Chef Ismail (Malaysia), Lezza Yeo (Germany), Raw Chef Yin (Malaysia) and Jetlag Warriors (Canada).
“The lockdown due to the (Covid-19) pandemic has brought food lovers together. We’ve been promoting Malaysian dishes through our shows and it’s indeed heartwarming when we get tagged by our viewers or other people who cook Malaysian food. It’s great to see people cooking Malaysian cuisines,” Norman added.