This maiden issue is dedicated to the humble, and often overlooked, rice grain that remains a staple in Asian diets. Our search brings us along logging trails and uncovers stories of ancient traditions nearing extinction. Plates magazine travels to different corners of Malaysia to speak to people about their unconventional relationship with rice and the risk that comes with it. Among them: an indigenous Kadazan-Dusun high priestess whose occupation is bound to disappear in the coming generation; an organic farming activist who fearlessly challenges the government-imposed status quo; and social entrepreneurs who have forgone dollars and sense to fully invest themselves emotionally and financially in a group of marginalised rice farmers in rural Borneo. On the cover, a handcrafted glutinous rice dumpling based on a recipe that has been passed down and altered over generations; inside, a step-by-step pictorial. For home bartenders, find out more about an under-celebrated hyperlocal spirit, a Bornean rice wine, and learn how to make it at home the traditional way.