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Giving the local dishes a boost
Published on: Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Tuhau or any other local food item may not go down well with everyone's taste buds, but if it is prepared innovatively, it can become a tasty dish.

As proven by the final year students of the Asian Tourism International (ATI) College in their project themed 'Gumuhi Tokou' (let's go back) on Wednesday, local products not only can be turned into fusion food items but also have high potentials to be commercialised.

The one-day project featured a bazaar which offered an array of food and drinks as well as traditional games.

Project manager Nichol Heidi Henry said the idea was conceptualised under the guidance of one of their lecturers, Marcus Solibun.

"We do use traditional methods to prepare some of the food items while we want to be more creative with the rest… we want to think of creating new things out of local readily-available items.


"We experimented with a lot of things and we have plans to commercialise some of the products.

"And that is why we use local items to be incorporated with other products as one of the ways to show others that our traditional food can be commercialised, it should be innovated," she said when met at the project's venue at the college's main building, here, on Wednesday.

Nichol who is also a final year culinary arts student said, among the most well-accepted items were Lihing Ice-cream and Tuhau Bread.

"We did a series of small-scale promotional events since a month ago and we noticed that people like the Lihing Ice-cream so much.


"One of our friends proposed to create a Lihing Ice-cream and we agreed. After a few trial and errors, he managed to come up with the right taste. The biggest challenge in the project is the preparation of the food itself.

"Even tourists love the ice-cream… there are many tourists staying at the lodges near the college and they visited our mini events."

'Gumuhi Tokou' was initiated by Marcus and it was participated by 33 students from various departments – culinary arts, pastry arts, hotel management, tourism and event management – as a learning activity for them.

Nichol hoped the event will pave way for others who are involved in the food and beverage industry to promote traditional cuisine that are difficult to be seen in the menu nowadays.


"Furthermore, we aim to encourage more from the young generation to be creative in presenting the traditional cuisine to make it more appealing without altering the natural taste.

"It's time to re-educate our people to be proud of our heritage," she said.

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