Malaysia’s most famous celebrity chef Ismail Redzuawan, better known as Chef Wan, was in Ballymena this week filming three episodes of his hit television series in Northern Ireland.
This was following an invitation by Northern Irish Connections, Northern Ireland’s diaspora network.
Chef Wan is the star of ‘Kembara Chef Wan’, a popular travel and cookery show that airs in Malaysia and the United States, and he has partnered with Northern Irish Connections to film in locations across Northern Ireland including the Galgorm Estate and Spa where he was welcomed by Mid and East Antrim Mayor Councillor Billy Ashe.
The episodes will focus on local produce, Northern Irish culture and Chef Wan’s experience during his stay.
On Saturday, April 23 he took time out of his six day itinerary to meet with local producers and sample a variety of local foods from McAtamney’s Butchers, Ewing’s Fishmongers and Hillstown Farm Shop while filming scenes for the show.
Upon arrival in Northern Ireland Chef Wan said: “Food is all about making people happy, and I think that by filming here in Northern Ireland we will see a lot of happy people. There are so many producers here and I am excited to meet some of them and see this beautiful country.”
Chef Wan, a former accountant, traded his corporate job to become a chef. Now with over 20 years’ experience in the industry, he is one of the world’s top chefs. He was crowned as the world’s top celebrity chef in 2009 and is culinary ambassador for Tourism Malaysia. Andrew Cowan, Chief Executive of Northern Irish Connections said: “Northern Ireland’s food producers are one of our strongest assets, so to have Chef Wan’s backing in developing new relationships and growing our reputation in this market is very exciting.
“Chef Wan brings with him an exciting opportunity to showcase our unique local foods to the Malaysian audience with a view to raising our profile in the region and developing potential export relationships.
Councillor Billy Ashe, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim said: “In the 2016 Year of Food and Drink we are delighted that Chef Wan showcased our quality local produce.”