‘Standardise local cuisine to strengthen food tourism bid’

National 1 minute, 59 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Tourism Development Department (TDD) under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources is looking to identify and standardise local cuisines to strengthen Brunei’s identity and promote food tourism.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Acting Director of the TDD Hj Zulzalani Hj Osman said that the department is currently in discussions with relevant stakeholders such as Royal Brunei Catering (RBC) to help them identify cuisines that can be considered Bruneian.

“We have also posted online questionnaires to gauge the public’s opinion regarding what food they believe to be Bruneian,” he saId.

He said that the main reason for this initiative is to have a uniform consensus on what is considered local cuisine so that it could be marketed towards tourists without any confusion.

The acting director said that each district will have signature dishes to call their own and the dishes will be categorised into breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner.

He added that the local dishes will all be standardised and will follow the same standard operating procedures.

“Once all of the cuisines are identified, they can be featured in restaurants and hotels all around the country, as well as on the in-flight menus of Royal Brunei Airlines,” he said.

“We want all of these cuisines to be the same so that when tourists order them (local cuisine), regardless from which restaurant or district... the taste, presentation and recipe will be the same,” he added.

He said that the challenge of this initiative is to convince local vendors to follow the standard operating procedures of said cuisines.

“For example... the kelupis, some vendors make it using imported rice. For the kelupis to be authentically Bruneian we must ensure that the ingredients are also local,” he said.

“If they (local vendors) do not take on this initiative, it might not work. This is why we need the full support of not only the stakeholders but also members of the public,” he added.

Hj Zulzalani said that the department is hoping to launch the initiative within the year.

He however acknowledged that more work still needs to be done.

“We just want to make sure... that once we have identified the authentic Bruneian cuisines, they are truly part of our culture and heritage. We also do not want our standardisation to dilute the Bruniean identity of these dishes,” he said.

The Brunei Times