KUCHING, Friday - Sarawak Tourism Board today welcomed a group of French journalists, which also consists of two French MasterChefs from Paris. The group is on a gastronomic, culture and nature visit to Sarawak arranged by Sarawak Tourism Board and Tourism Malaysia Paris.

Arriving from Kuala Lumpur this morning, the group was greeted by members of Sarawak Tourism Board at Kuching International Airport. They will go on a 3-day 2-night visit, exploring Kuching and its surrounding attractions which include a Bidayuh Longhouse, Semengoh Orang Utan Rehab Centre, Sunday Market, Sarawak Cultural Village and the city attractions.

Other than highlighting the cultural and natural beauty of Sarawak, Sarawak Tourism Board has also arranged a special preview session and cooking demo for the French MasterChefs at a Bidayuh Longhouse near Padawan. Dishes that incorporate local ingredients conceived by a former contestant of the French MasterChef show, Mr Cyril Rouquet and the finalist of French MasterChef season 3, Mr Simon Carlier will be showcased.

“Highlighting the authentic food and lifestyle of the ethnic Bidayuh, the session hopes to feature Sarawak as one of the top destinations for gastronomic experience”, says Gustino Basuan, STB’s Media Relations Manager at the welcoming session in Kuching International Airport.

“It's good to be in this beautiful country, as we are running away from the cold in Paris” says Sylvie Aries, senior journalist of La Provence Magazine. The editor-in-chief of the magazine, a luxury lifestyle, culinary and travel magazine from France, also travelled with the group.

Apart from featuring the culinary adventure of the celebrity chef, the magazine will also feature Kuching as a tourist destination.

The media-visiting programme is one of the initiatives supported by Sarawak Tourism Board to attract more French and European visitors to Sarawak.

Up to September this year, Sarawak has recorded an increase in the number of visitors from France compared to the same period last year.

French MasterChef, Cyril Rouquet (2nd from left) and Simon Carlier (6th from left) together with the French journalist group at arrival in Kuching Airport.