Malaysian Nyonya Celebrity Chef : Chef Florence Tan

Blogged in this site by @joehairie
Based on Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu Handout for Media Representatives
(Photos by


Chef Florence Tan was specially flown in by Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu to showcase her Baba Nyonya-licious Signature from April 28, 2017 to May 21, 2017 at Promenade Cafe.

Florence Tan is Malaysia’s most famous Nyonya Chef who has delightfully been promoting the Nyonya cuisine in Malaysia and now, internationally, from as far back as anyone can recall. She whole-heartedly desires to leave this cuisine indelibly imprinted on diners’ minds and has earnestly preserved and strived, not only to promote, but to faithfully “safeguard” traditional Nyonya recipes so that future generation can reproduce and savor this genuine cooking.

Chef Florence in Kota Kinabalu showcasing her Baba-Nyonya-licious Signature

She hopes to leave behind her expansive portfolio of recipes as a legacy of good, tasty Nyonya Food that everyone can cherish and enjoy forever. Born into a Straits-born Chinese/Baba and Nyonya family with a tradition of good cooking (Both her mother and grandmother were excellent cooks), it is no wonder that Florence, inducted into the strictest standards of fine cooking, became passionate about it!

One of Chef Florence’s yum recipe; Sambal Prawns with Anchovies and Petai

Relatives remember her lovely ‘apom berkuah’ – simply unforgettable. The same goes for her cream buns. Festive occasions had been some of the truly wonderful occasions for honing cooking skills as the Nyonya ladies gathered together to cook up a storm. It was a much a boisterous social gathering as it was a practical, communal way of preparing food to feed the entire family.

Chef Florence’s latest recipe book (2017)

She was a school teacher (specializing in teaching culinary skills to high school girls) for 25 years before she ventured into doing cooking demonstrations in the public forum. She also took extra classes under master tutor Dato Lim Ban Yam (international school of home cooking) and the classes include Indian cooking., Thai Cuisine, Barbecue,  Chinese Restaurant specialties, Cakes, Bread and many more.

IMG_0633 Promenade Cafe, Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

Florence has also worked with numerous companies in the food industry to promote their products to consumers and to develop new recipes. In the process of criss-crossing the country and doing myriad cooking shows both on national shows (called Kuali and Simply Delicious) and International television (BBC and Asian Food Channel), she has become Malaysia’s sweetheart for authentic Nyonya cuisine and is easily recognized wherever she goes.

Nyonya Style Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)

Florence then ventured abroad and has since been the country’s cooking ambassador to Japan, Hong Kong, England, France, the Netherlands and New York. These trips have simply fueled Florence’s love for cooking, fanning her desire to share it with the rest of the world. Due to her dedications on promoting the authentic dishes of Baba and Nyonya, she was given the privilege of introducing the Nyonya Cuisine through Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Rick Stein in British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), d Merrilees Parker and Bobby Chin in Travels and Living.

Chef Florence with her VIP Guests in cooking demo

Apart from that, she is also involved on producing Dapur Nyonya 25 episodes with TV3 projects. Due to her capabilities, she was invited by MATRADE for the international BBQ Madness in Sydney (October, 2011). She is also been recognized by the Melaka State Government for promoting Nyonya Cuisines in United Nations. She’s the appointed ambassador for MyChef on skillfully prepared Nyinya frozen food which is ready to simply heat and serve at the comfort of your own home (

…with her big fans…

Florence was also invited by the Malaysian Tourism to conduct cooking demos in Tong Tong Fair 2013 in Holland. Florence has also appeared in Masterchef Programs and Poh’s Kitchen- Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) cooking series. She has also hosted and brought Michelle Rowe from The Australian around Malacca to taste Malacca street food and Nyonya delicacy as well. She was also invited to take around a group of journalist which was sent by Malaysian Tourism to Malacca to know more about the Nyonya culture and food.


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