Cooking up a storm
TAN How Mun, a culinary arts student from Berjaya University College of Hospitality, took home the first runner- up award in the Nestlé Culinary Arts Award ( CAA) held from Jan 28 to 30.
The event was organised by Nestlé with the primary objective of raising standards of culinary arts education in Malaysia.
The competition was developed by the Department of Skills Development and supported by Skills Malaysia.
It is also endorsed by the Malaysian Association of Hotels ( MAH). The competition was opened to students from colleges all over Malaysia that offered a diploma in culinary arts programme.
Tan, who represented the School of Culinary of Berjaya University College of Hospitality, was selected from hundreds of students studying the culinary programme.
Under the tutelage of World Association of Chefs Societies ( WACS) Global Master Chef Jochen Kern, Celebrity chef, Chef Malcolm Goh, and Chef Vincent Pang, Tan presented four dishes to the judges: a canapé platter, stuffed seafood ravioli with shellfish sauce followed by herb crusted tenderloin and a raspberry panna cotta for dessert.
The competition heated up on the final day with a mystery black box challenge. Each contestant was required to use ingredients in the mysterious black box, which was revealed to contain Nestum oats, a rack of lamb and orange juice. The strange mix of ingredients did not faze Tan as he was prepared to face any challenges.
Despite that being Tan’s first time competing in a professional culinary competition, he was not nervous throughout the competition as his intensive training with the chefs had prepared him well. He peeled, sliced, chopped, cut and cooked in accordance to what he had practised during the month- long labourious training that took a lot of sacrifice and hard work.
Having gone through the three gruelling days of competition, Tan realised that he needed to improve on his time management as well as further enhance his basic culinary skills.
Tan says, “I learnt to organise before I start cooking and, importantly, to remain calm through all circumstances, to think on my feet and be alert and attentive at all times. I would like to thank Chef Pang, Chef Kern and Chef Goh for their endless support and encouragement. Although they were strict and stern, I owe much of my achievement to them.”
Tan emphasises that he learnt a lot through his participation in competitions and encourages other students to join competitions at every opportunity as they can help improve skills and raise confidence.
He says, “It is important to work and train hard, be serious, pay attention to your mentor chefs and never be complacent.”
Tan hopes to improve his culinary skills while on an internship programme with the prestigious Le Méridien Hotel in April.
Berjaya University College of Hospitality is a Malaysian premier university college specialising in the fields of hospitality, culinary arts, tourism and event management.
Situated in the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur, it is located on the 11th and 14th floors of Berjaya Times Square, conceptually designed with a five- star hotel ambiance equipped with the most comprehensive and advanced facilities that mirrors real world settings. The university college also offers courses in business and liberal arts.
Berjaya University College of Hospitality is working to make higher education more accessible, affordable and attainable for everyone.
The PTPTN education financing scheme is available for Malaysian students. The institution’s affiliation with the Berjaya Corporation Group of Companies also allows it to host several bursary schemes and education scholarships available to both local and international students.
For more information, visit www. berjaya. edu. my.
Tan How Mun, culinary arts student at Berjaya University College of Hospitality.