Frequent travels as a youngster availed Marina to a myriad of food experiences. From the sleepy town of Teluk Anson in Perak to the rugged outback of Australia, Marina has always had a two-way affinity for food ~ cooking and the eating!
Upon returning to Malaysia after completing her academic education,graduating with a Bachelor of Business degree, Marina and her sisters decided to take the plunge into the restaurant business they called Café’ Dania. It gave 14 years to delicious meals prepared by Marina & her sisters and had to close the doors to its kitchen once the demands of their individual families beckoned.
In August 2009, Marina self published her debut cookbook titled ‘Memorable Recipes for Malay Occasions’, launched by Puan Sri Norainee Abd Rahman, the wife of Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister.
The book with photographs taken by her son Aziff Azuddin, was and still is received well by readers. Each chapter suggests a spread for a specific occasions in Malay culture such as births, engagements, the rite of circumcision and a wedding among others. ‘Memorable Recipes for Malay Occasions’ received positive publicity from the Malaysian media such the Star, The New Straits Times, Mingguan Malaysia, Berita Harian and Her World Magazine to name a few.
Karangkraf, a major semi-government publishing company offered Marina the opportunity to work on 3 series of a 200-page cookbook based on her book ‘Memorable Recipes for Malay Occasions’. Written in Bahasa Malaysia, it is titled ‘Nostalgia Bersama Marina Mustafa’ (Nostalgia With Marina Mustafa). The first of the 3 series of her cookbook was released in March 2011.
In March 2011, Marina worked towards the producing of a charity cookbook titled ‘Seeds of Love’ where the proceeds of the sale of this cookbook will help towards the needy.
In October 2009, Marina Mustafa was interviewed on radio BFM89.9 by Shazmin Shamsuddin about her debut cookbook. In early 2010, television channel Astro Awani aired an 8-week cooking show titled ‘From Marina’s Kitchen’. In this series, Marina shared simple everyday cooking for occasions like picnics preparation, breakfast, Chinese New Year and even Valentine’s Day. This was followed by a visit from the BBC Channel to film a series ‘Atul’s Spice Kitchen’ and selected Marina as one of the guest chef.
In June 2010, Marina was selected as one of the 10 finalists in a reality cooking show called ‘Ideal Celebrity Chef’ which was aired on TV3 every Monday for 7 consecutive weeks. Marina maintained top spot for 4 weeks in a row. She attained third place in the finals.
In July 2011, Marina’s ‘Kids Can Cook’ classes was featured on the weekly Rancangan ‘Sarapan’ on TV3. On 4th September 2011,Marina was featured in the Hari Raya episode of ‘Resipi Umi’ with her family. ‘Resipi Umi’ is an Islamic cooking show which highlights how food bring families together.
In August 2011, Marina was asked to be the Food Director for a cooking show by F&N where she worked with celebrity host & chef Anis Nabila and seven other Malaysian TV personalities & celebrities such as Jehan Miskin, Zoe Rahman, Fizo, Nurul Wahab, Irma Hasmie. This show was aired on TV3 during the fasting month of Ramadhan. She co-hosted and cooked with celebrity Zoey Rahman and several orphans for the final episode of the show ‘Ideal Celebrity Chef’.
In August 2011 also, Marina did some food-styling for Munchy’s TV Capsule working with the Malaysian's Miss Universe 2010.
She has also contributed recipes in Berita Harian and Majalah Midi and is presently working free-lance with Her World Magazine on some recipes for their monthly issues. She contributed 25 recipes for ‘Her World’ Cookbook and was asked to work on Her World’s two new food-columns, ‘Fast-Fixes’ and ‘Learn to Cook’.
As community service, Marina teaches to approximately 20-30 mosque-goers on a regular basis. Marina also did a cooking demonstration to aid the Spastic Children of Selangor in July 2011.
In August 2010, Marina conducted a cooking demonstration at the MPH Bookstore in the 1Utama Shopping Centre. Another cooking demonstration at MPH Gurney Plaza, Penang followed in October. On the 3rd of September 2011, Marina was invited to do a cooking demonstration for the yearly Popular Book Fest held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. In September 2011, Marina was invited by the Mah Sing Property Group to do a cooking demonstration during the launch of their new development, Garden Residences.
mIn November 2011, she was invited to do a cooking demonstration in Johor and another one in Penang Mega Bookfest at Straits Quay Convention Centre.
She has taught several classes at restaurant Dish Deli at Solaris. Marina & a partner has set up a cooking school at Villa 16 which has received a huge response from the public, especially their ‘Kids Can Cook’ classes.
When not busy cooking, writing and writing about cooking, Marina spends her time being a mother to four wonderful children and a husband she loves cooking for.
Memorable Recipes for Malay Ocassions
A collection of family Malay recipes and menu appropriate for customary Malay occasions flowing through cycle of life. Dotted through the book are ingredients & kitchenware used in most Malaysian kitchens as well as the traditional beliefs & remedies behind it.