Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre's Ambassadors Shine Bright at Culinaire Malaysia 2019
It was a sweet victory for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) when their team bagged ‘The Most Outstanding Team in Culinary’ and ‘Most Outstanding Apprentice’ for the second consecutive time at Culinaire Malaysia 2019, where the crème-de-la-crème of the local and international culinary fraternity competed in a “Battle of the Chefs”.
Overall the team also won three gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals at the competition, which the Centre has now competed in six times, out of which, 10 medals were contributed by the young chefs and ambassadors. The gold medals were won in the ‘Crystal Ice Masterpiece Team Challenge’, ‘Plated Appetisers’ and ‘Hot Cooking - Western Cuisine’ categories.
Commenting on the fantastic effort, the Centre’s Executive Chef, Hisham bin Jaafar, shared, “We are thrilled and very proud of the performance of our young chefs and Ambassadors, most of whom had minimal culinary experience and really stepped up thanks to the guidance and coaching from our chefs. Our aim was to give these fresh and raw talents experience and exposure. Culinaire Malaysia was the perfect opportunity to impart real-world knowledge.”
Before the competition, under the guidance of the Centre’s Team Captain and Team Manager for Culinaire Malaysia 2019, Western Banqueting Chef, Nur Mohammad Zahar, and Garde Manger Chef, Fairus Raudzi, the juniors undertook two months of rigorous training to prepare them for the competition. This included staying back after working hours to practice creating their dishes, which involved many late nights, mock presentations with constructive comments by in-house judges and workshops with the Centre’s chefs on culinary skills and methods.
He continued, “These Ambassadors have been loyal and hard-working throughout their time with us and Culinaire Malaysia provided the perfect occasion for us to reward them with a new opportunity. We hope this experience will help them kick-start their culinary journey and inspire them to continue to grow their skills and techniques as they forge a career here at the Centre, or in Malaysia’s blossoming culinary scene.”
Speaking of his experience, winner of the Most Outstanding Apprentice, Muhammad Zulhelmi bin Ahmad Azam, said, “Being an apprentice here has been a fulfilling journey indeed. When you are surrounded by professionals and skilful chefs, who are always willing to help, it gives you the encouragement and confidence to join a competition like this. The past few months have been challenging, but thanks to Chef Hisham and his team's tough love, encouragement and support I was able to excel. Never did I imagine that I would win the ‘Most Outstanding Apprentice’, and I am truly happy and grateful for this.”
The Ambassadors will now be given the opportunity to be involved in cooking for selected events, as well as employment with the Centre whenever the opportunity arises.
This was the eighth consecutive time that the Centre has been the proud host of the biennial Culinaire Malaysia competition as part of its commitment to advance culinary excellence and distinction through the provision of a platform to develop and nurture young talent in Malaysia. This edition brought together over 1,000 culinary professionals to gain valuable experience, exposure, inspiration and showcase their skills and creative techniques in various disciplines and categories.