The ‘We’ Behind Kita

Australian-born Leisa Tyler has been an Asian-based food and travel journalist since 1998, writing for publications such as TIME Magazine and National Geographic. Leisa sat on the board of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for ten years and launched Asia’s 50 Best, directing the event’s symposium and masterclass programme. She has organised, curated, and run multiple food events, including the {Re} Food Forum on food waste and environmentalism in Bangkok. Leisa also co-owns Weeds&More, which grows heirloom vegetables and edible flowers in Malaysia’s highlands for restaurants and hotels in Singapore and Malaysia.

Leisa Tyler

Managing Director

Malaysian-born chef Darren Teoh is the head chef of one-Michelin star Dewakan in Kuala Lumpur. Drawing from his storied Chinese-Indian family heritage, he is in the vanguard of a new culinary identity emerging in Malaysia; that which explores gastronomic provenance and culture through the country’s finest and freshest ingredients. Through his cooking, Darren hopes to inspire consciousness and reshape the future of Malaysian food. He has represented Malaysian cuisine in dozens of international food forums, festivals and events; in 2019 Dewakan was the first ever Malaysian restaurant to win a place on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Darren Teoh


Malaysian-born Adrian Yap wears many hats. As the founder of event and brand marketing company Freeform, he runs Malaysia’s longest-running creative arts festival, Urbanscapes, and Tiffin Culinary, a platform for multi-layered dining experiences inspired by the world’s love affair with food. Under the Tiffin Culinary brand, Freeform organises and manages a food hall (Tiffin Food Court) and F&B-centric pop-up events. Additionally, Tiffin Culinary offers culinary consultancy services to brands wanting to tap into the growing trend of culinary-focused activations to engage their target markets.

Adrian Yap


Wong Yin​ How ​is the founder of the Tinkermen restaurant collective, which includes Vintry, Stoked and Proof Pizza​. A lawyer by training and a graduate of the London School of Economics​ with an ardent enthusiasm for food, wine, and travel, he is a long-time judge at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards. In 2010, Yin​ How became the first Asian recipient of the AXA Millésimes Scholarship, offering scholars hands-on vineyard experience. He is the founding secretary of the Sommeliers Association of Malaysia, as well as the Vice​ President of the International Wine and Food Society (Kuala Lumpur branch).

Wong Yin How


Jade Yoong is the General Manager of Kita Food Festival, overseeing the day-to-day management of the festival planning and operations. She has spearheaded the end-to-end setup of food halls in Malaysia, from concept ideation to tenant curation, as well as organised and run multiple food events and festivals. Prior to her foray into the culinary world, she was a marketing communications consultant in Kuala Lumpur and New York.

Jade Yoong

General Manager

Tim Talbot founded Le Bun, an experiential dining company in the UK where a highlight was creating a pop-up restaurant with pop star Kelis. He has also been nominated for best caterer at the UK Festival Awards, written on the F&B industry for The Guardian, and part of numerous culinary industry panels. Tim has also led culinary teams at tech MNCs Deliveroo and Foodpanda, and holds over a decade of experience working on music tours and festivals.

Tim Talbot

Creative and Special Projects

Nini dove into the world of events early on and hasn’t slowed down since. With a focus on sports events across Asia, she’s tackled everything from Golf to Tennis and Football. When COVID hit, she took a leap into the F&B scene and hasn’t looked back since. Now, as part of the Events & Sponsorship team, she’s all set to bring her expertise to managing Kita’s events and bringing fresh ideas on making sponsorship more engaging.

Muhaini Muhammad

Events & Partnerships Associate


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