The Guild Culinary TEAM from SHTCA together with their lecturers.
Thank you Chef Works Malaysia for sponsoring Guild Culinary team for the wonderful jacket!
Eileen Tai Wei Yi (R), Gold Medal winner with her assistant, Ching Jia Wei.
Michael Stephanus Yoshua during the competition for Meat/ Poultry Main Course in Western Cuisine category.
By Faresa Azmi
The most obvious pro in any debate about the worthiness of culinary school is the education itself. All the various culinary school programs vary in length, class structure, and focus, but one can have a reasonable expectation of emerging from culinary school with a foundational knowledge of terms used in the kitchen.
Food and Hotel Malaysia 2019 (FHM 2019) was held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Sept 24 to 27, bringing food and hotel industry professionals together.
All the hard work paid off when the team of The Guild Culinary TEAM from SHTCA came home with an array of awards and prizes including the much coveted Gold Medallist, which was taken by Eileen Tai Wei Yi. Other top prizes included 1 silver medal, 1 bronze medal and 3 diplomas.
In those four days competition, the team had gone through a nerve-wracking atmosphere in KLCC, posed by overwhelming support with a record attendance of 25,823 Trade Visitors.
Nevertheless, the courageous shown by KDU students to participate and compete in the open class categories had indeed impressed their chef lecturers, as this shows that they were actually ready to compete against industry professionals.
One of SHTCA’s lecturers Chef Muhammad Edwan said through the competition, the participants had the opportunity to practise current trends and proper techniques in cooking that were used at the international level in the hospitality industry.
He added the team, comprising those studying for a culinary arts diploma, began preparations some three months before the competition, practice sessions and real-time simulation all done systematically to invoke actual competition scenarios.
“They went through complete training and were supported by other lecturers who motivated them not to give up. Meanwhile, the team was also sponsored by Chef Works Malaysia for their jackets, enabling them to work in absolute comfort and allowing total concentration during their cooking.”
“I am being very outstanding because the students stood out on their beahivour which is brave and daring. The idea was to showcase what our students are capable of, henceforth sending the message to the whole country that we are indeed excellent in what we do,” described Chef Muhammad Edwan bin Shaharir who is a Head Trainer in charge of KDU’s contingent for this large-scale competition.
For Eileen Tai Wei Yi, a Semester 4 Diploma in Culinary Arts student who won a gold medal for the individual Hot Cooking: Main Course Seafood.
“I wasn’t expecting to come home with an award on that one,” Eileen said of the stiff competition. “It feels really great. It was kind of a dream come true for what I love doing and represent SHTCA, KDU all in the same atmosphere. I feel really blessed to be able to come back with a win like this.The training that we had was awesome. Sacrificing my leisure time and focusing was a very fruitful. During the training, I had a very rough time and stress but I managed to cope it with all my classes and training”.
Tan Kai Meng, who study in the 2nd year Bachelor of Culinary Management achieved a silver medal for the meat/poultry main course category mentioned, “Our chef lecturers have given us a lot of recommendations and idea to improve our dishes. Even though during the competition, I am under pressure, but with the guidance and spiritual team mate, I have managed to go thru the competition very well. We started planning and training three weeks before the competition. I feel very thankful to all my lecturers for their guidance and advice especially spending extra hours after class to discuss and improvise their creations”. Kai Meng further explained that he wasn’t expected to win in this competition thus he wasn’t too confident in winning prizes but more so to gain experiences through such events.
Malaysia’s tourism and hospitality industry, which include hotels, foods, restaurants, chefs, as well as food services equipment and suppliers doing their part, will help maintain the industry as the third largest contributor to the country’s economy. Tourism and hospitality industry was recognised as one of the National Key Economic Areas in the government’s vision to help make Malaysia a high-income donation by 2020. Malaysia is targeted to draw some 36 million tourists with tourism receipts projected at RM168bil.
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