Malaysia’s very own Food Hero winner, TV host and entrepreneur, Ili Sulaiman tells us of all her travelling adventures.
After winning a cook-off competition organised by the Asian Food Channel and Food Network, Ili Sulaiman was crowned Food Hero back in 2015, along with Debbie Wong from Hong Kong. She then went on to host her own cooking shows on television and started a web series showcasing her talent for cooking and inventing new recipes. As her passion for cooking grew, she ventured into starting her own food and food delivery ventures. Her latest creation is ILI POT Steamboat & Grill delivery, offering steamboat meals easily prepared in the comfort of your own home. Ili shares with us her own experiences of how food makes every travelling experience memorable and unforgettable.
The first is Japan, I’ve never been to Japan. My husband and I are waiting for the borders to open so we can go! I would also love to go to India because I’ve never been there but my husband has and says that I would love it, because I am really big into textiles, jewellery and home décor and I think India would be really an eye opening experience for me. The third destination is South America or even Mexico. I would love to venture to that side of the world.
I would say the number one facility I use a lot in KLIA is definitely the shops. I miss stocking up on my yearly perfume and makeup items because of the duty free prices. Usually when I travel, I stay with family and friends. It’s nice to get them a gift, and in KLIA you have an array of selection of chocolates or toys and even beverages to give to your host. I also have a tradition, where before travelling I stop by McDonald’s for some food even though I have already eaten! So I will never lose out on that tradition and will never forget it.
Langkawi International Airport is pretty awesome as you can see that the airport is rich with history and culture.
How do you keep yourself occupied on long layovers or when there’s a flight delay?
Being a ‘Malaysia Airlines baby’ as we call ourselves, we are always prepared, conditioned by our Malaysia Airlines parents. We always have a carry-on bag-on-wheels and we always bring a spare change of clean clothes, a book, Ipad downloaded with Netflix, adapters and chargers. Usually, we grab a meal and have something to eat. A must do for me is, freshening up at airports. It’s important because we can get really tired and really lethargic when travelling.
I would say for some odd reason that has stuck in my head, even though I was 5 years old, is visiting Honolulu, Hawaii. It is so distinctive, that until today I long for the opportunity to go back again. I think the reason is because it was my first trip that I had both my mum and dad there the whole time. I remember very clearly going fishing and seeing the water with the clearest view of fishes around my feet; going to the Honolulu parade and seeing the flamethrowers and hula dancers; and having the best time ever. I also remember the music they were playing and the food I ate. That was the first time I had raw fish, like in a poke bowl. It was one of the first trips I had as a child, but until today, I fondly think of it as my favorite family holiday
My husband and I were just talking about it, and we would really love to go to Japan. If Japan doesn’t happen then we would go to Korea again, as my business partner is based in Korea. I want to go back in winter, to do some snowboarding and experience Korea’s winter. Apparently, it is really cold!