April 20, 2011

Samplings On The Fourteen: Venezuelan Gastronomical Festival 2011

Venezuela, land of famous and gorgeous Ms Universes and Ms Worlds, needs no further introduction to the world. Besides being famous for stunning ladies, the country has so much more to offer with its spectacular snow-covered Andean mountains to warm Caribbean beaches, amazing culture, arts, music and cuisines.

I am always amazed to discover what the world has to offer with all the plethora of cultures, scenic and breathtaking panoramas, people, cuisines, art and music. When I was invited to experience Venezuela’s unique and exquisite culture and cuisine through an annual event in Kuala Lumpur, this was simply too tempting to resist! 

The Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Malaysia is proud to feature the Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in conjunction with the 6th Venezuelan Week in Malaysia.

This year, as Venezuela commemorates its bicentennial celebration, marking two centuries of independence and freedom from colonial oppression, the Embassy has gone to great lengths to commemorate this special event by ensuring that Malaysians have an opportunity to participate in the various activities which include Venezuelan dance workshops, a charity Bazaar organized by Wisma Putra, and a phenomenal advantage to sample our cuisine through a ‘Gastronomic Festival’ to be held at the Samplings On The Fourteenth Restaurant at Berjaya Times Square from April 20th till May 8th.

The ‘Gastronomic Festival’, the highlight of Venezuelan Week 2011, held in joint partnership with Berjaya Group, will give Malaysians a chance to try authentic Venezuelan cuisine prepared specially by Chef Carmen Rawstron, a Venezuelan who recently launched her book entitled ‘My Venezuelan Cuisine’. Several cooking workshops have been set up at local universities for Malaysians to participate and learn to prepare Venezuelan food. A cooking contest has also been arranged to encourage healthy competition among the students and a special Mother’s Day Luncheon will be held at the Samplings Restaurant on the 8th of May so that the public have an opportunity to enjoy that special day.

Let me tempt you with what I discovered!

*Picture courtesy of Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Angel Falls or Paradise Falls is the world’s highest mountain located in Canaima National Park in the Gran Sabana region of Bolivar State, Venezuela. Isn’t this breathtaking?

 *Picture courtesy of Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Los Roques is one of the largest marine park which host some of the most magnificient and natural underwater fauna and floral of the Carribean. This park has endless white sand beaches with crystalline waters perfect for beach and sea lovers!

*Picture courtesy of Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Vibrant dancers performing their sultry and passionate dance movements with Latin beat music.  I just loved their costumes and colors!

The event started off with speeches by Mr. Adrian Chung (General Manager of Berjaya Hotel) and H.E Manuel Guzmán (Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Malaysia), followed by an introduction to Chef Carmen and the launch of her new cookbook! There will be a lot of activities held during the two coming weeks showcasing dance, music, photography, gastronomy and more during this festival.


We were then treated to a sampling of Venezuela week activities with music and dance performance at the launch followed by an exquisite gastronomy delights by Chef Carmen.

The Ambassador, Manuel Guzmán, his wife, Natahalie Nuñez and honorary guests at Samplings On The Fourteen.

A smooth and full-bodied red pinot was served with out meal.

Bread and butter to start off our exclusive cuisine!

 Sopa de Plátano verde adornada con almendras tostadas

Plantains are considered one of the most important fruits of Venezuela and this is certainly reflected in their cuisines. Chef Carmen concocted a lovely Cream of Plantains with Almond Crisp that had me dipping pieces of bread to soak up all the slightly sweet bisque.

Pastel de Chucho con salsita de coco con ensalada de piña y lechugas troceada de vinagreta blanca

Sounds like a mouthful but Spotted Stingray & Plantain Pie with Coconut Sauce with Mixed Salad and Pineapple was intricate and exquisite! The colors of the dish are just as amazing as its culture!

Torta de guanábana

Dessert was an austere piece of Soursop Cake. Creamy soursop sandwiched with light sponge slices was a simple ending to our meal.

Venezuela cuisine obviously features a fusion of fruits in its cuisine. This also reflects the creativity of the people in creating authentic dishes encompassing the abundance of fruits in the country. This experience certainly triggered an undeniable fascination for me to learn more about Venezuela! (Maybe one day I'll be able to visit this amazing country... J)

Do not just take my words only but experience this for yourselves today as the festival is only available for a short period between April and May 2011!

For more information on Venezuelan Gastronomical Festival 2011, please contact:
The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Tel: 03-21633444 or 21633445

Dinner reservations on Sampling- Venezuela Gastronomic Festival are available from Mondays to Saturdays between 6.30pm and 10.30pm. For more information, please contact Berjaya Times Square Hotel at +603-2117 8000 ext. 8131 or e-mail bth.samplings@berjayahotel.com for reservations and information)


  1. The soursop cake looks gooood! :D

  2. Venezuelan cuisines definitely new to me!!!

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