The School of Hospitality collaborated with the Philanthropy Office to celebrate and fundraise for our very first Malaysia Junior National Culinary Team competing at the 25th IKA/Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Malaysian Junior Culinary Team is made up of Sunway University School of Hospitality students Alicia Tay (23), Pang Jin Yong (23), Amanda Cheah (20), Tsen Jun Yan (20), and Ashraf Ravi (20), Ilya Dayana (25) from Kolej Yayasan Pahang.
The IKA/Culinary Olympics which is held from February 14 to February 19 is the world’s oldest and largest international culinary art exhibition and this year’s event is anticipated to see over 2,000 chefs from more than 60 nations participate in the culinary competitions.
The Malaysia Junior Culinary Team had earlier won gold at the Shanghai International Young Chefs Cup (IYCC) which is part of the 2019 FHC China International Culinary Arts Competition, triumphing over teams from 12 countries. That competition saw over 600 participants competed in over 25 categories.
Our national team had clinched the gold with “Rasa-Rasa Malaysia” dishes, featuring local flavours and spices which include tamarind, lemongrass, galangal, citrus leaves (daun kesum), ginger torch flower (bunga kantan), and other varieties of Malaysian traditional salad vegetables (ulam).
Among the guests at the send-off party were celebrity Chef Dato' Redzuawan bin Ismail or better known as Chef Wan, Chef Pele Kuah Choon Liang, Vice-President of Professional Culinaire Association and Chef Hossein Karimi, L’nop Private Chef & Catering KL, from the culinary world. Other VIPs who joined the occasion consist of Dr Elizabeth Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Sunway Education Group; Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University; Professor Marcus Stephenson, Professor of Tourism and Hospitality Management and Dean of Sunway University School of Hospitality and YM Datin Raja Riza Shazmin Raja Badrul Shah, Director of Philanthropy of Sunway Education Group.
Chef Wan shared a few words of advice with the team during dinner, “It is not just about winning. What you want to ultimately experience is the opportunity to be amongst the best of the best and be in the midst of the many talented people from around the world. We are very proud of you. We wish you the best of luck.”
Team Captain, Alicia Tay said she was exceptionally grateful for the support from Sunway University, the many individual sponsors and Malaysian companies who have supported the team’s endeavours by sponsoring raw materials, utensils as well as donated funds to make the team’s dream to compete in the prestigious competition a reality.
“We have been training long and hard from as early at 7.00 am each day till late night at Sunway University for two whole months. We will be bringing a whole lot of our local spices, vegetables, fruits and other ingredients, and a cargo of pots, pans and glassware. My team and I would like to specially thank Sunway University for their enormous encouragement in terms of funding and moral support.”
Dr Elizabeth Lee said that it was heartening to see the team trained exceptionally hard. “We are delighted to see these young talents take a bold step to showcase Malaysia’s unique culinary treasures and talent to the world. We have a lot of faith in the Malaysia Junior Culinary Team, seeing how dedicated they are to learning every day and we shall wait for them to return home victorious,” she shared.
The team will be accompanied by the Sunway University’s School of Hospitality teaching fellows; Chef Soon Pau Voon (Team Manager), Chef Lee Han Ying, Chef Chong Wei Tzeh and Professor Chef Patrick Siau Chi Yin, Practice Professor of Culinary Arts, who led the Malaysia National Pastry team as the Coach to win first place at World Pastry Cup (Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie) held in Lyon last year; and Chef Fhaizal Mustafa, Head Chef of Red Bean Bag, on this momentous trip to Stuttgart.