01 December 2008
Ling Jenn Joe may only be starting out in his culinary career but his skills in creatively transforming the subtle flavours of ordinary ingredients into gastronomic delights indicate that the 2008 winner of the prestigious Nestlé Golden Chef Hat Award already has the deft touches of a master.
Currently working under the tutelage of senior chefs in the kitchens of the Westin Kuala Lumpur, the commis chef creatively juxtaposed the vibrant hues of his ingredients with their subtle flavours to create a palate pleasing palette of colour and flavours that earned him the coveted award and a RM6,000.00 cash prize.
Participants of the 4th Nestlé Golden Chef Hat Award competition – which provides young Malaysian chefs with the unique opportunity to showcase their talents and creativity to top industry professionals – were required to create a menu comprising of an appetizer, soup, main course and dessert; and the young apprentice did not disappoint.
Ling began with a poached duck breast wrapped in spinach, prawn ravioli, a vegetable stew and zucchini puree which segued into a cream of mushroom soup with garlic espuma and herb croutons.
His main course consisted of perfectly roasted beef that was complemented by glazed asparagus, gratinated potatoes, beef juice and black pepper foam and the meal ended on a bouquet of flavours that were produced from a melange of warm chocolate cake with raspberry ice cream, apple compote and almond florentine.
The kitchens of Westin Kuala Lumpur also produced the first runner-up in the competition with another commis chef, Syamsul Bahari bin Horme. He received a cash prize of RM3,000.00 while the 2nd runner-up, Amir bin Hamzah, from Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur took home RM1,000.00 in cash. All the 26 participants who made it to the final stage of the competition took home a certificate of participation endorsed by the Malaysian Association of Hotels and Chefs Association of Malaysia.
“The Golden Chef Hat Award is one of the most prestigious culinary awards in Malaysia and winning it has really given me a boost of confidence in terms of my career and I’m glad I did not disappoint all the chefs who had been coaching me,” said Ling.
“I knew that the other top young chefs had amazing and inspiring dishes as well but I told myself that all that mattered would be to produce all the 4 courses in the way that I wanted it to be as we had identical ingredients to create our menus,” he said.
Ling said he knew he wanted to be a chef from the time he started helping his great grandmother in the kitchen cutting vegetables.
“I love the aroma of the various ingredients when they are cooked together and experimenting with new ingredients from all parts of the world,” added the excited young chef.
The Nestlé Golden Chef Hat Award was first launched in Malaysia in 1994 and this year saw a record number of participants, with over 270 entries from hotels, colleges, hospitals, catering companies and eateries from across Malaysia.
Presented by Nestlé Professional, the competition is open to Malaysian citizens below 28 years of age is organised jointly with the Chefs Association of Malaysia and Taylor’s College School of Hospitality and Tourism.
With a growing trend of out-of-home food and beverage consumption among Malaysians, Nestlé Professional – which is a Globally Managed Business Unit established under Nestlé – is fully dedicated to responding to the needs of out-of-home food and beverage operators.
“As part of the world’s largest food, nutrition, health and wellness company, Nestlé Professional supports the hospitality industry and this competition is a wonderful opportunity to develop young, aspiring Malaysian chefs and give them the opportunity to excel further,” said Puan Zainun Nur Abdul Rauf, Business Executive Manager of Nestlé Professional Malaysia.
In addition to the Golden Chef Hat Award competition, Nestlé Professional also supports other culinary related activities such as the Golden Chef for Chinese Cuisine competition, Culinary Arts Awards competition for colleges in the hospitality industry, Salon Culinaire Malaysia, Salon Gastronomique Penang and Sabah Hospitality Fiesta.
27 November 2008
Hong Kong International Culinary Classic (HKICC) 2009 exhibits in conjunction with HOFEX 2009 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre runs from 6th – 9th May 2009. This four-day culinary competition, co-organised by The Hong Kong Chefs Associations (HKCA), is targeted at international culinary talents to demonstrate their superb culinary expertise and skills.
In addition to welcoming some leading chefs and industrial professional experts to the organising team this year, HKICC will also invited an international reach of highly-respected chefs and culinary experts to preside over the judging of HKICC 2009.
This year, the competition is made up of 7 main categories ranging from Western Cuisine, Chinese Cuisine, Ice Carving, Pastry, Live Bakery Competition, Live Pastry Competition (NEW), and the Gourmet Team Challenge - each catered to the increasingly sophisticated needs of the food, drinks and hospitality industries.
HKICC is now inviting young and talented chefs from restaurants, clubs, hotels and catering institutions to participate at this international culinary competition. The last edition in 2007 was fully subscribed with over 580 entries. Act immediately to secure you and/or your colleague a placement in this exciting event before it is fully booked.
Registration for HKICC is now OPEN !
For more info log on to www.hongkong-chefs.com
23 November 2008
Holistic training for pastry chefs helps southern youth
HAMBANTOTA – When five students from a hotel school jointly run by Don-Bosco and the Chef’s Guild of Sri Lanka presented themselves for an interview at a hotel in Sigiriya, their ‘immaculate’ behaviour – even before the interview – impressed the manager so much that they were hired on the spot.
“The manager was impressed by what he saw as they waited to be called that he hired them without spending much time on an interview,” Don Bosco’s Bro. Gabriel told The Sunday Times FT.
The Don-Bosco Chef’s Guild of Lanka Institute of Hospitality and Catering at Hambantota imparts much more than just hoteliering and catering. The courses have a holistic training module which includes human and moral values, cleanliness and behaviour, Bro Gabriel said.
The hotel school, which also has a small hotel with 7-8 chalets on the beach as a training ground for the students, accommodates about 30 in a batch. It was started soon after the tsunami to help youth in the area learn some skill. The Chef’s Guild runs a bakery and pastry course at a fully automated bakery at the centre. English is also taught to the students.
The students are all Buddhists and the school liaises with the local temple in selecting entrants. According to W. Sayakkara, Pastry/Bakery Chef cum Instructor, most of the students from the previous two batches have got jobs in top hotels in Colombo and elsewhere. The hotel school is concentrating a lot of bakery and pastry courses due to demand for pastry chefs in New Zealand and Australia, he told the newspaper during a recent visit to the centre.
Deeganage Gamini de Silva, 31, who has worked in a hotel in Ambalantota, says he joined the course to learn pastry making and baking as he wants to go to Australia. Nadeeka Ranjani, 21, also wants to go abroad and sees the hotel school as a step in that direction. In the case of Imesha Nadeeshani, 17, the hotel school hopes to set up pastry outlets in the town and elsewhere and plan to give her an opportunity to run one of them.
22 November 2008
This Photo is of the Junior Team from Ireland taken right after receiving their Silver Medal at the 2008 Culinary Olympics.Pictured with them are their coaches, the Chairman of the WACS Education Committee John Clancy and WACS President Gissur Gudmundsson. Sorry for the late posting and congratulations to you all again.
Winner Joseph Jones with the Young Welsh Chef of theYear trophy.
20 November 2008
Come August 2011, South Africa will once again play host to the most incredible global culinary event of a lifetime -
The "World Cooks Tour for Hunger 2011".
This amazing event will take place throughout South Africa from 21st-30th August 2011 and will see more than 200 international and local Chefs come together to raise more than ZAR 2 million (South African Rand) helping the poor and the underprivileged to receive a warm meal and more.
Today begins a series of articles in which we will reveal the personal experiences of Chefs who have had the privilege of attending the World Cooks Tour for Hunger in South Africa.
We begin with my own reflections from the first day of the 2003 World Cooks Tour for Hunger.
Day 1. 15th August 2003
As a great many of the chefs had arrived a day or two earlier it was decided that we would stage a march protesting against Hunger through the centre of the infamous township of Alexandria finishing at the Police station Lock Up where we would feed some 200 local homeless and disadvantaged children the only warm meal that they were going to get that day and possibly the next.
"2.5 Million children in South Africa will go hungry today and tomorrow there will be more."
So there we were, about 80 International and local Chefs, looking grand in our white starched jackets and tall hats, standing on the pothole studded streets of Alex. Accompanied by three Police vehicles and a local Fire Brigade complete with a large red Fire Engine, sirens blaring and flashing lights, we felt assured that we were not going to go unnoticed. The slip of dirt on either side of the tarred road that passed for a sidewalk was overflowing with raggedy dressed, barefooted children with more and more faces cramming into small uncovered windows and doorways of rusty coloured corrugated shacks and run down, virtually falling down government erected housing of the apartheid era.
With banners and flags unfurled and our hearts filled with great pride, a little fear and much anxiety, the chefs of the World marched shoulder to shoulder as one, united in thought and purpose hoping to make but a little difference in the otherwise bleak existence of a hungry Child's life.
At the Police station the atmosphere was a biz with the excited chatter of children, all of them wanting to have their photo taken with these white clad strangers from far off places. Children singing and dancing waiting patiently as the time built up to when the food would be served. Lining up in a seemingly endless queue that snaked its way around the otherwise colourless compound and back again. With their faces filled with joy knowing that today something good was going to happen, today they were going to eat for sure but more than that they might get a souvenir pin or a flag or even a chefs hat or jacket that they could show and tell their friends and extended families and neighbours about that evening and possibly for days to come.
Then there were the children that stood quietly with their small mostly dirty hands clutching onto a still empty plate, some of them with knees trembling from hunger, smiled sheepishly as they slowly chewed a mouthful of fresh bread trying to make each bite last longer than the one before until it was their turn at last to stand before the enormous pots of food and receive their portion of Spaghetti and Meat Balls in Tomato sauce over Mashed Potatoes along with a choice of orange or lime cordial. For those children, their movements were focused and careful, walking slowly selecting a quiet place to sit away from the crowd a place where they could find peace and take much needed nourishment and comfort from a warm plate of food knowing that at least for today they were safe from the endless stabbing pain of hunger.
Thus began my incredible life changing 10-day journey into the heart of the South African "World Cooks Tour For Hunger 2003."
18 November 2008
06 November 2008
04 November 2008
28 October 2008
24 October 2008
International Chef Day – Singapore
International Chef’s Day 2008 was celebrated in Singapore quite differently as compared to previous years. Instead of visiting homes for the elderly and cooking for them, chefs from the Singapore Chef’s Association(SCA) invited more than 100 youths from Andrew & Grace Home, Northlight and Care Corner Family Services Center Woodlands to learn the ways of the chef at At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy. The objective of the chefs was twofold: to teach the young participants how to cook delicious and nutritional food and inspire them to enter the chef profession. “We wanted to share our skills with the underprivileged kids, and teach them that eating well may not be an expensive affair. With the right culinary skills, such as how to handle meats or cut vegetables the right way, they can be empowered to whip up a delicious, healthy meal at home anytime at a low cost.” Eric Teo, president of SCA.
The day began in the early afternoon at At-Sunrice, where, after a short introduction, the kids aged 12 to 17 were taken for a tour of the spice gardens surrounding the academy. After a returning to the academy and taking a short break — a break punctuated by the laughter of the kids as they donned their chef garb — the kids were divided into three teams and brought into the kitchens to see the instructors in actions.
It would be an understatement to say: “It was then the participants’ turn to cook”, for the aroma wafting through the air as each kitchen was a bustle of activity was unbelievably mouth-watering.
In the words of Bridget Hootan, a participant from Andrew & Grace Home who had previously attended other cooking classes, International Chef’s Day 2008 was “a new experience because the first cooking class we attended they spoon-fed us everything. So now at least we get to walk around and understand different aspects of cooking.”
“I think it was a very good event and there was very good response. I think bringing all those kids from those various schools to the academy today was a very meaningful event to do and I think they will leave with great memories and hopefully give them some interests about what cuisines and food is all about and to understand the importance of good nutrition and food knowledge which today has the tendency to be forgotten,” said Christophe Megel, chief executive officer of At-Sunrice.
The day ended with a communal dinner at At-Sunrice, where the kids dined with their new friends, the chefs.
Article from Singapore Chefs Association