KUCHING: Students from UNITAR International University’s School of Culinary Arts bagged twelve medals from the inaugural World Chef Competition, which took place recently in Malaysia’s ‘rice bowl’ city, Kedah.
They brought home two gold, two silver, and eight bronze medals.
More than 400 people participated in the competition to show off their culinary skills in traditional Malay cuisine to age-old Chinese recipes, as the competition saw culinary experts put their skills to the test in over 81 categories.
Aqmal Naqimi Rosamran and Tengku Nurnabilah Izzati scored one gold medal each, followed by Nur Anis Asyqin Zakaria and Nurul Amirah Farhanna whom each bagged a silver medal.
Besides that, Mohammad Adli Faizal, Muhammad Afif Fazli, Mahathir Sharif Ali, Muhammad Ifham Zulkarnian, Muhammad Arif Safwan Azmi and Muhamad Syahmi Syahidan won a bronze medal each while Mohd Norsyahidan Zaharuddin, walked away with two bronze medals.
Unitar’s Culinary School deputy director Shahril Nizam Shamsudin pointed out that the competition was a platform for the students to showcase their skills, knowledge and talent in culinary.
“We won big because we focused on the techniques rather than recipe.
“This to me is the most important part of any dish we concoct and it was about creating flavourful dishes with simple ingredients through the techniques that we impart through our course syllabi,” he said.
Aqmal Naqimi, who is an undergraduate in his final year and recipient of one of the two gold medals, said that it was a dream come true as he took home two medals.
“The experience that I have gathered in the three days here, meeting these chefs from all over Malaysia, will last me a lifetime.”
Like Aqmal, most of the other participants felt an emotional connection to this competition.
Unitar’s vice chancellor Prof Dr Noor Raihan Ab Hamid said that having a soulful connection to the creations is what makes it come alive, and this was why their students (who joined the competition) stood out.
“It is reflective in our learning, knowledge and the satisfaction we bring to those who savour these exceptional creations,” she added.
While one would expect the most decadent and extravagant dishes and creations, the World Chef Competition also included categories for vegetarian cuisine, desserts as delicate as wedding cakes, coffee art and even a category specially designed for senior citizens.
The competition also helped promote Malaysia’s agricultural products by including home-grown produce in the various categories.