Creative food experiences and local personalities bolster destination marketing efforts surrounding highly anticipated Crazy Rich Asians film release.
What does it take to be a Crazy Rich Asian? “Ego – and lots of it,” says Daniel Boey, Singaporean fashion consultant, show producer and TV personality (pictured above).
“You’ve got to have a thick skin, create your own identity, and believe in your aesthetic.”
Known as the ‘godfather of Singapore fashion’, he also insists on dressing outrageously in obscure labels, using the word ‘darlink’ (aka darling) as often as possible, obsessing about 4D (lottery in Malaysia and Singapore), and eating – a lot.
Teaming up with Noshtrekker and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Boey recently opened up his glamorous East Coast home to host an extravagant dinner party that celebrated the film adaption of Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel Crazy Rich Asians.
Together with a handful of Boey’s friends and local foodies, STB invited eight prominent social media ‘influencers’ from the U.S. to join the party and get a true taste of Singapore.
Noshtrekker founder and chief experience designer, Tahnya Butterfield, has created a number of in-home dining experiences for leisure and corporate groups. She says food has a unique power to bring people together.
“A lot of daily life is shared across food, and by inviting a visitor to join the meal, in some way we are inviting them to be a part of the local conversation,” she says. “We believe that to get an authentic taste of a place, visitors need to interact with real, local people.
“Eating laksa or chicken rice with someone who has grown up with the food, or even better – makes the food – delivers a completely different cultural experience than eating the food with limited social and cultural context.”
Butterfield and her team work with 20 local hosts to create authentic destination experiences – where the dining table serves as both a storytelling and community-building platform.
“We take the time to get to know our hosts as people, understand their history and passions, and how they see themselves as part of the Singapore story. Then work with them to design a menu that reflects that story.”
To bring Kwan’s novel to life at Boey’s lavish three-storey home, Butterfield created a decadent 17-course canapé menu that reflected various chapters and scenes from the book as well as the culinary traditions of Singapore – highlights included ‘Lau Pa Sat on a Stick’ (beef satay and rojak skewers), ‘Silence inducing Laksa’, ‘Little Top Hats’ (kuih pie tee), and ‘Peik Lin’s High Tea’ (Nyonya kueh).
To bolster destination marketing efforts around the film’s Hollywood premiere, STB also teamed up with Warner Bros. to roll out a series of Crazy Rich Asians pop-up events in Los Angeles that featured Singapore creatives such as famed chef Malcolm Lee, DJ KoFlow, and mixologist Peter Chua.
STB’s assistant chief executive, marketing group, Lynette Pang, says the film presents an extraordinary opportunity to market Singapore to a wider leisure and business audience.
“As Crazy Rich Asians is set in Singapore and showcases ‘Destination Singapore’ in a way that celebrates Singapore’s culture, food and attractions, we believe this will augment STB’s efforts in driving destination awareness.
“While we may not be able to immediately quantify returns from the movie, we certainly expect the exposure from the movie to help bolster greater global awareness of our destination and this could potentially attract more visitors, including business event visitors, over time.”
Crazy Rich Asians opens in cinemas in Singapore next week (22 August).