CALL it nobility or passion for one’s profession, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College ( TAR University College) chef- cumFaculty of Social Science, Arts and Humanities ( FSAH) lecturer Lucas Liao Shing Jie could not have been more unconditional in channelling his expertise to his students – Lim Xing Yi and Sern Lai Sheng, both from the Bachelor of Hospitality Management ( Hons).
They took up the challenge to participate in the recent Culinaire Malaysia “Malaysian Battle of the Chefs” competition in the ice- carving category conducted during the 13th Malaysian International Exhibition of Food, Drinks, Hotel, Restaurant and Foodservice Equipment, Supplies, Services and Related Technology held from Sept 29 to Oct 2, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.
Fuelled partly by their own interest and also inspired by Chef Lucas’s gastronomic skills that have clinched him many awards, these two students, as well as Chef Lucas himself won a bronze medal each for their highly creative and artistic effort in carving ice sculptures at the event.
Chef Lucas has garnered many wins in his foray into culinary competitions. Besides his recent award, his other wins include a Bronze Award in the Flower, Fruits and Vegetable Arts in Royal Floria Putrajaya 2015; Bronze Medal in Ice Carving in the 2013 Atlantic Chef Cup Asian Young Chef’s Knife Skills Competition in Taiwan; Gold Medalist in Malaysia International Tropical Fruits 3D Platter Competition organised in conjunction with the Fabulous Food 1Malaysia Festival in 2012 and 2013; Bronze Medal in the Modern Western Cuisine Restaurant of the “Battle of the Chefs” 2011 Penang and First Runner- up in the Chef’s Gourmet Battle Team Challenge, Culinaire Malaysia 2011.
This culinary extraordinaire has a wealth of knowledge and skill to share in the TAR University College Hospitality Management programme.
It is one thing to teach a subject, but quite another to win an award for putting one’s knowledge and skill into practice. Not only did Chef Lucas do that, he also coached his students to win.
After months of tough and sometimes overwhelming training, they managed to perform and compete against the other participants from Taiwan and Malaysia to win not one but three bronze medals.
Having had a career in the hospitality industry for approximately 10 years, he believes the subject he teaches plays an important role in Hospitality Management.
“I teach mainly on subjects that have to do with food, such as Theory of Food and Food Preparation 1 and 2. These are subjects that inspire students about food. Gastronomy or in other words, food and drink, are crucial for survival. Additionally, gastronomy has now innovated, evolved and changed to cater to a niche market – it has become an art. One has to reinvent the preparation of food in this industry. As such, educating and inspiring students in current and dynamic food trends and knowledge is what I strive to achieve.”
Besides being taught by top- notch academicians cum practitioners, such as the award- winning Chef Lucas, TAR University College students undergo an internship programme during their semester break.
This paves the way for them to understand and be exposed to new trends and expectations of the ever- dynamic hospitality industry. TAR University College Hospitality Management students are therefore highly sought after for their knowledge and skills.
For details about Hospitality Management and other programmes offered by FSAH, visit the Kuala Lumpur Main Campus or any of the branches campuses in Penang, Perak, Johor and faculty branches in Pahang and Sabah to enquire.
Alternatively, you may log on to the website at www. tarc. edu. my.
The three bronze winners – ( from left) Lim Xing yi, chef Lucas Liao shing Jie and sern Lai sheng ( right) together with the chief judge of the ice- carving category, Frankie Lee Kim soon ( third from left).