Un­der­grad­u­ates make UCSI proud with win at World­skills Malaysia Sarawak 2017

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KUCH­ING: UCSI un­der­grad­u­ates from the depart­ment of Hos­pi­tal­ity and Culi­nary Arts bagged both the Gold and Sil­ver medals un­der the Culi­nary Cat­e­gory of the World­Skills Malaysia Sarawak 2017 held at Bor­neo Con­ven­tion Cen­tre Kuch­ing from Oct 27 to 29.

A fter the qual­i­fy­ing round last month, the duo were re­quired to pre­pare a full course meal con­sist­ing of an ap­pe­tiser, main course and dessert dur­ing the fi­nals.

They ac­com­plished this feat after en­dur­ing ex­haust­ing hours of prepa­ra­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion of their dishes.

Gold Medal­ist Kueh Wun Thiin, a first year un­der­grad­u­ate, ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the univer­sity for giv­ing him the op­por­tu­nity to take part in nu­mer­ous com­pe­ti­tions.

“I never thought of win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion. I told my­self to just fo­cus and do my best. Thanks to my lec­tur­ers for their guid­ance and ideas, I man­aged to win the Gold Medal. Go­ing through a month of sleep­less nights wasn’t easy, but I en­joyed the process” he en­thused.

Com­ing from a fam­ily of four, Kueh started cook­ing for his fam­ily’s daily meal when he was in Form 2. It was his grand­mother who in­spired his in­ter­est in cook­ing. “I ob­served my grand­mother pre­par­ing our fam­ily meals since I was five or six years old and that was where my pas­sion for cook­ing started”, he said.

An alum­nus of SMK Ban­dar Kuch­ing No.1, Kueh com­pleted his SPM in 2013 and joined UCSI’s Diploma in Culi­nary Arts Pro­gramme right after he got his re­sults.

He is cur­rently pur­su­ing a de­gree in Hos­pi­tal­ity Man­age­ment at the univer­sity.

“I was not a high flyer in my aca­demics dur­ing my se­condary school days and I was not re­ally into stud­ies. Thank­fully, my SPM re­sults met the min­i­mum en­try re­quire­ment and I was given a chance to con­tinue my stud­ies and shape my fu­ture.”

He has par­tic­i­pated in sev­eral com­pe­ti­tions across the coun­try since his sec­ond se­mes­ter at UCSI.

He said: “My first com­pe­ti­tion was or­gan­ised by Sarawak Cul­tural Vil­lage in 2015 with a salmon dish. I did not win but gained ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­po­sure. My first award was Diploma in the Asian Main Course: Fish/Seafood Cat­e­gory from Penang In­ter­na­tional Halal Chef Chal­lenge 2016, Penang.

Kueh as­pires to work in Europe, fo­cus­ing on French cui­sine after com­plet­ing his de­gree.

“I would like to ex­plore Europe for two to five years be­fore start­ing my own Western food restau­rant in Kuch­ing. Work­ing as a chef would be hec­tic and it is never easy to stay long hours in a kitchen. But I am al­ways ready to han­dle all the stress as cook­ing is my pas­sion and be­com­ing a suc­cess­ful Miche­lin Star Chef is my dream,” he said.

Kings­ley Chuo Meng Han, the Sil­ver Medal­ist said: “Half way through the first day of com­pe­ti­tion, I thought of giv­ing up. I had a fever with headache. It was hard for me to han­dle all the stress from the com­pe­ti­tion.

“How­ever, when I thought about the prepa­ra­tion and months of prac­tice that I had gone through in the kitchen, as well as the ex­pec­ta­tions and high hopes of the univer­sity and my lec­tur­ers, I told my­self not to give up be­fore I’ve tried my best. This is the day when all my hard work paid off.”

The univer­sity has been ac­tively send­ing their stu­dents to var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions not only for ex­po­sure and to gain valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence, but also to dis­play skills and knowl­edge learned from their stud­ies in UCSI.

Kueh Wun Thiin (right) and Kings­ley Chuo Meng Han bagged Gold and Sil­ver in the World­Skills Malaysia Sarawak 2017.

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