- Introducing Chef Dino
- Skirting on thin ice
- Mini Parlimen show host Pak Jamal takes it easy in retirement
Posted: 27 Dec 2011 11:17 PM PST
Filipino student Dino Ferrari emerges as winner of the E&O Search For AFC's Next Celebrity Chef reality TV cooking competition.
IT is the best Christmas present Filipino student Dino Ferrari has ever received. As winner of the Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Search For The Asian Food Channel's (AFC) Next Celebrity Chef reality TV show, Ferrari says the coveted title has been the best gift that money cannot buy.
"It's unbelievable. It is a dream come true. AFC and E&O have given me a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can't express my gratitude. There were moments during the competition when I thought I couldn't make it any further, but I persevered," said Ferrari, 26, with tears welling up in his eyes after AFC's press conference to unveil the winner of the competition in Kuala Lumpur last week.
In August, AFC conducted a region-wide search for Asia's next celebrity chef. Audition rounds were held in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila and Jakarta, where over 1,000 applicants turned up to compete.
The series, filmed mainly in Penang, premiered on AFC (Astro Channel 703) last month and involved 35 contestants going through gruelling tests and various culinary challenges under the scrutiny of the judges. After six weeks of elimination rounds, only Filipinos Diane Montecillo and Ferrari remained to compete in the grand finale.
In the finale, Montecillo and Ferrari were required to prepare their signature dishes (Montecillo, Beef Wellington, and Ferrari, Pan Fried Salmon With Wasabe And White Chocolate Sauce) for a team of executive sous chefs from Penang.
Following that, they were tasked to prepare a three-course dinner for 300 people at the E&O Hotel in Penang.
After much deliberation from judges Chef Bruce Lim, Chef Emmanuel Stroobant and E&O Group's director of group hospitality and lifestyle Michael Saxon, Ferrari emerged as the winner.
Lim said Ferrari's winning points included patience, calmness, knowledge of food and good managerial skills.
"Dino (Ferrari) fits the bill. He has the right attitude, personality and confidence. He has a good mix of skill, enthusiasm, passion and is camera-friendly. He is an ideal candidate who will add to the mix of culture and character dimensions in the series," said Lim, who was one of the strictest judges (remember the plate breaking sessions?) on the show.
Besides attaining instant celebrity status, Ferrari has been signed to an exclusive one-year contract, with a year-long employment contract with the E&O Group (beginning next month), taking on the mantle of Creative Chef, E&O Hospitality and Lifestyle Division.
Ferrari said his biggest surprise was being able to beat Montecillo, a culinary instructor.
"I am a student whereas Diane (Montecillo) is an experienced instructor. She is confident and has superb cooking skills. She was highly competitive and that pushed me to work harder. I believe my added advantage was my positive spirit and unbridled enthusiasm to gain knowledge on Asian cuisine. Despite the challenges, the last six weeks have been rewarding," said Ferrari,
Ferrari is no greenhorn in the culinary scene though. At 22, he enrolled in an eight-month cooking programme in a kitchen in France. Following that, he underwent a short culinary course at hotel and restaurant management school L'ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in Le, Switzerland.
"I thank my parents and two elder sisters for guiding me in this direction. This competition has opened so many doors at a much faster pace. Hopefully, I can build a name for myself and be recognised not only as a good chef, but also one that entertains from the heart, making people laugh," said Ferrari, who is of Swiss and Filipino parentage.
AFC chief executive officer and co-founder Maria Brown said: "Dino (Ferrari) has the character, the on-camera persona and knowledge of how to cook delicious cuisines. Viewers tuned in religiously every week to support their favourite contestants, filling the AFC Facebook and Twitter pages with comments and words of encouragement.
"For AFC's first-ever fully produced and filmed reality television cooking contest, the public's reaction has been overwhelming. It has been a great achievement that we have been able to draw such attention to the culinary talents available in Asia."
For details, go to asianfoodchannel.com.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
Posted: 27 Dec 2011 11:18 PM PST
The latest version of Charlie's Angels proves to be far from pretty.
ONCE upon a time, three angels moved to Miami to fight crime. But – as it turned out – they overstayed their welcome after just seven episodes. Actually, it's not fair to blame the bright city. A lovable serial killer (Dexter Morgan of Dexter), a very cunning spy (Michael Westen of Burn Notice) and a forensic expert with a penchant for cliched one-liners (Horatio Crane of CSI: Miami) have made the sunny town their homes, quite sucessfully. What the reboot of Charlie's Angels lacks compared to these three shows is – hmmm, how do I say this nicely? – everything. To be honest, it's an insult to mention the extremely superb Dexter and the very entertaining Burn Notice in the same breath as Charlie's Angels.
Sure, Charlie's Angels boasts three very nice-looking girls wearing all these nice outfits and shoes, strutting to right the wrong against awfully nice backgrounds. Heck, the show even has a main character killed 20 minutes into the series, a very daring move by any show, really. However, somebody forgot to give these female characters personalities. It doesn't help that Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor cannot act to save their lives – although they make every effort to be sexy and dangerous all at the same time, an effort that is so bad that it's not even funny.
Maybe it's not their fault because the script is horrific. One friend commented that he actually felt his grey cells committing suicide every time a character opened her mouth to talk.
Here are some cringe-worthy examples: "Watch your mouth Jerry or you'll have to talk to her instead of me", "Guys, don't tell me. We've uncovered a cartel of evil florists" and "Shoes are like sushi. They don't travel well." Ha-bloody-ha. Angel the brooding vampire is way, way, way, funnier.
Admittedly, the original Charlie's Angels skirted on very thin ice. But what made the 1970s show work (as well as the recent films) was just how much fun factor was incorporated into the storylines. The series and the films just screamed that the audience needn't take the premise seriously, freeing the viewers from any obligation other than to just enjoy the surreal action sequences, airy hairstyles and cheesy lines just for pleasure's sake.
In the newer version, the new Charlie's Angels decided to make things really sombre. Needless to say, it backfired.
Also, the angle in the original series was that the girls were hired because they were going nowhere fast in the police force due to the glass ceiling in the precint. The new angels have more shady backgrounds and want a second chance. Proudly flaunting that they are no saints, the show reveals one of them was once a cat burglar, another a car thief and another, a dirty cop. Seriously? We are supposed to like a dirty cop! The Reagans in Blue Bloods will just smack us senseless if that happens.
Another huge mistake Charlie's Angels made was hiring a young and, not to mention, irritating John Bosley. He is played by Ramon Rodriguez – who first annoyed audiences everywhere in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen. Sure, Bosley is no angel, but Rodriguez just comes off as sleazy with a huge helping of yucks. If the three angels had any brains and self-respect, they'd refuse to work with Rodriguez almost immediately. Which brings us to Charlie? Victor Garber used to play a father to a female spy in the series Alias; a role he practically owned. Here, he should've easily conveyed that "fatherly" figure to the angels, but the only thing that comes across is how mechanical he sounds.
Reboots are great if it's done right. Battlestar Galactica updated the old (cheesy) show to tackle heavy subjects like faith, humanity and morality, making it a series that surpassed the original series on so many levels.
Hawaii-Five-0 doesn't challenge itself enough, but it's a series that has established itself as a winner. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Knight Rider and Bionic Woman – two really awful reincarnations.
Charlie's Angels proves that someone should stop this futile exercise and not molest our memories further.
Charlie's Angels is aired on Fox (Astro Ch710) every Sunday at 9pm.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
Posted: 27 Dec 2011 05:13 PM PST
PETALING JAYA: Fans of 80s local television programmes may still remember a Mini Parlimen show, which starred children as "Members of Parliament".
The show, an inspiration of Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali – the wife of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – was famous with children debating issues in "parliament".
Besides the children, Pak Cik Jamal – or Jamal Muhamad – held the spotlight as "Tuan Yang di-Pertua" and the show host.
Almost as tall as a 12-year-old boy, his character made him the children's idol, with the show receiving tremendous response after it was aired in 1983 in conjunction with the country's 26th Independence Day.
However, many people have since been asking where Pak Cik Jamal is now. After leaving the broadcasting world 16 years ago, Jamal, now 72, is living in Dengkil, Selangor and is suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, a condition which causes a curved spine.
"I spend most of my time in bed as my movements are limited. I undergo check-ups at Putrajaya Hospital every fortnight," he was quoted as saying in Utusan Melayu Mingguan.
He said since his retirement as an RTM employee, he preferred to spend time with his wife, Sallamiah Serat, 65, at his home.
On his days as a children's television show host, Jamal said the Taman Kanak-Kanak programme, which aired for 34 years from 1961, was more popular than Mini Parlimen.
He said due to the show's popularity, he was able to follow a course with Australia Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Channel 10 in 1977 for a month.
"I felt proud when a producer at the ABC broadcasting company complimented me on the show," said the man, who was born in Kampung Baru.
Hosting the Mini Parlimen show was a big challenge as he had to both write the script as well as train the children, who numbered at 180, the same number of MPs in Parliament at that time.
The ex-RTM Radio deejay also said he was happy to serve as a government official, adding that his career had taken off despite him being a disabled.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
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