Cheang Sweetie


Perhaps it came from my name; maybe it was destined to be when my parents decided to name me Sweetie. But ever since I was young, I've always wanted to experiment with new recipes and techniques much more than other interests such as sports or music. Deep down, I knew I wanted to chase a creative pursuit rather than the typical 9-to-5 job that my peers pursued. Growing up shy and slightly introverted, I found comfort in expressing myself through the art of baking sweets and cooking. As my workaholic parents constantly worked tirelessly to sustain the big appetites of their four hungry kids, I discovered a newfound appreciation for food and its underlying efforts and love. It's absolutely riveting how one simple dish can be viewed as the culmination of several industry chains — from the farmers, suppliers, the chefs, and finally, to us consumers. From then on, my perspective on the value of a "simple meal" completely changed, and this eventually bloomed into a deep fascination.

My passion quickly blossomed further when I received an oven from one of my relatives; it quickly became my new toy. Immediately, I became hooked on cooking, from watching cooking videos on Youtube to reading cookbooks every other day. Everything about the art intrigued me, even the chemistry behind it. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, I would bake cakes and treats for my family and me. However, no one strikes gold all the time; sometimes, my family had to eat some of my failures. However, as my skills flourished, so did the perfectionist in me. I even started questioning whether this path was right for me; every failure became harder to swallow than the ones before. Eventually, my own expectations overshadowed my own capabilities.

#MySunwayStory started when I somehow stumbled upon the Sunway Young Chef Scholarship while scrolling on the internet one day and decided this was the time for me to challenge myself. This would be my ultimate test -- If I manage to get in, then I am truly worthy of this craft; if not, then maybe I do not belong in this industry after all. The competition was a mystery; I had no idea what it would entail. Thus, I spent an entire week trying to perfect my foundations, going through multiple recipes and techniques, deeply afraid of another failure. To my surprise, I received the most amazing opportunity I could ever obtain in my lifetime. A huge wave of relief flooded my body and mind; it was like I had rediscovered myself and my passion again. At that moment, I knew I had fallen in love with the craft again. To all my fellow friends, never give up your passion no matter what hits you and pulls you down. Take failure as a valuable opportunity to better yourself. Understand that passion, dedication, and hard work will never betray you. When in doubt, slow down and give yourself a pat on the back. Accept failure as a natural stepping stone on the path to greater success. Sometimes, it is harder to do than just say but trust me, believe in yourself ; you are worth every moment of it.

Cheang Sweetie
BSc (Hons) in Culinary Management
Sunway University Young Chef Scholarship