KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Malaysia National Youth Culinary Team comprising Sunway University School of Hospitality students Alicia Tay (23), Pang Jin Yong (23), Amanda Cheah (20), Tsen Jun Yan (20), and Amirul Ashraf (20) and Ilya Dayana (25) from Kolej Yayasan Pahang, brought home a gold medal for the "Restaurant of the Nations" category and a silver medal for the "IKA Buffet" category yesterday.
Chef Frank Widmann, Jury President and Chair of IKA Culinary Olympics 2020; Soon Pau Voon, Manager and Chief Coach, Malaysia National Youth Culinary Team; Amirul Ashraf, Tsen Jun Yan, Pang Jin Yong, Alicia Tay, Amanda Cheah and Ilya Dayana; with Chef Richard Beck President of the German Chef’s Association, Verband der Köche Deutschlands e. V. (VKD)
This is Malaysia’s first participation in the Junior Team category and they won the inaugural gold medal. The Malaysia Senior Team won a gold medal in 1988. The Malaysia Junior National Team’s wins also have them ranked 6th in the world by the IKA.
The IKA/Culinary Olympics which was held from February 14 to February 19, is the world’s oldest and largest international culinary art exhibition. The event saw over 2,000 chefs from more than 60 nations participating in the culinary competitions. The IKA/Culinary Olympics is hosted by the German Chefs’ Association, Verband der Köche Deutschlands e.V. (VKD).
Our national team clinched the medals with Malaysian cuisine, showcasing the best of Malaysian flavours with ‘Rasa-Rasa Malaysia’, or a taste of Malaysia for both categories. The team prepared a warm trout and seafood mousseline with ‘laksa’ sauce, lentil and trout fritters, and pickled salad with puffed tofu. The main course prepared was coriander and ginger-torch flower crusted chicken with tamarind sauce, five-spice roll, chicken ravioli, stuffed cabbage, squash puree and market vegetables. For dessert, the team presented chocolate mousse with honey madeleine, hazelnut cake, passion fruit – banana compote, yuzu sauce and whipped ganache.
Team Captain, Alicia Tay said, "We are exceptionally grateful for the support from Sunway University, the many individual sponsors and corporate partners who have supported our hopes and dreams for Malaysia by sponsoring raw materials, utensils as well as donated funds to make the team’s dream to compete in the prestigious competition a reality. Our win is a win for Malaysia!"
Sunway University’s School of Hospitality teaching fellow Chef Soon Pau Voon who is also the Team Coach said, "Competing in the IKA / Culinary Olympics gives an opportunity for the young chefs to enhance their learning experience beyond the doors of their kitchen. We are proud to present our dishes which highlights the tapestry of flavours of our Malaysian cuisine." Sunway Education Group CEO Dr Elizabeth Lee said that the win was a coup for Malaysia’s culinary scene.
"The team’s win, which follows Malaysia National Pastry team’s win at the World Pastry Cup held in Lyon last year signals to the world that Malaysia is at the forefront of the culinary scene. It’s a coup for all of us Malaysians who take immense pride in our unique culinary heritage. We are incredibly proud of our team and we hope to see all the young aspiring chef’s be inspired by their win!"
The team was mentored and coached by Sunway University’s School of Hospitality teaching fellows Chef Soon Pau Voon (Team Coach), Chef Lee Han Ying, Chef Chong Wei Tzeh and its Head Chef and Teaching Fellow Professor Chef Patrick Siau, 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.
In addition, Malaysia Professional Culinaire Association (PCA) Vice President Chef Pele Kuah, and Head Chef of Read Bean Bag Chef Muhd Fhaizal Mustafa, and Sunway University Alumni Chef Queeny Cheong also mentored the team towards the achievement.