02 October 2013

Myanmar Young Chefs Culinary Challenge a Huge Success

Look out Michelin – Myanmar chefs are aiming to reach international culinary standards. In a bid to identify and encourage a generation of kitchen wizards, the Myanmar Chefs’ Association held its first Yangon Culinary Young Chefs’ Challenge on September 25 and 26 at Aung San Stadium.
A young chef takes part in the Yangon Culinary Young Chefs’ Challenge in Yangon on September 26. (Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times)A young chef takes part in the Yangon Culinary Young Chefs’ Challenge in Yangon on September 26. (Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times)
“Participating in this event will help Myanmar chefs to reach international standards by gaining experience when they compete in other countries,” said Oliver Esser Soe Thet, president of the Myanmar Chefs’ Association and one of the competition judges.
Competitors had to prepare a main course for beef, poultry, seafood and pasta; decorate a wedding cake; carve fruit and vegetables; and make bread and pastry, plus two different desserts.
Contestants included 58 young chefs, all aged under 25, from 14 top Yangon hotels and restaurants, including Sedona, Traders and Parkroyal.
But it was the team from Le Planteur that stole the show, taking out the top prizes in the beef, seafood, pasta and poultry sections. Traders won best dessert, while Parkroyal took out the best pastry section.
“I prepared for about two months to compete in this challenge. I learned a lot from foreign chefs by participating. They taught us what to do and what not to do,” prizewinner Ma Zin Myo Nwe of Le Planteur restaurant told The Myanmar Times.
Ma Zin Myo Nwe said she loves cooking and hopes other Myanmar women will be inspired to follow her example.
While competing against each other, the young chefs not only showcased their skills but also exchanged views with industry colleagues and networked with international chefs.
“All participants are qualified professionals ... They need practice to take part in international competitions, but they should create Myanmar traditional food as well as international dishes,” said Ko Than Zaw Oo, who was one of the judges.
Other judges included Chan Tuck Wai from Singapore, former Ministry of Hotels and Tourism official U Than Lwin and Myanmar Chefs’ Association deputy leader Daw Thuzar Myint.

1st Yangon Culinary Young Chefs Challenge ended and supported WACS FEED THE PLANET initiative
The 1st Yangon Culinary Young Chefs Challenge 2013 successfully finished just few days ago. Even though the event is already behind us, excellent atmosphere, interesting program, satisfied competitors and sponsors as well as the great number of visitor will be still talking about this great competition and cheerfully waiting for the next one.
The entire competition was conducted under the supervision of WACS certified Judges and other national and international professionals that followed the highest standards. While the winners proudly and justifiably received their prizes, sponsors or the competition made sure they received some valuable awards as well. Furthermore, during the event educational workshop on food safety and hygiene, Halal diet and modern culinary trends was held thanks to the wonderful presentations made by international speakers. Furthermore, Myanmar professional baristas preformed a two hour session ‘Barista training’ as to educate young Myanmar baristas and raise the awareness of this important hospitality segment.

As being a WACS member since 2000, Myanmar Chefs Association has been actively involved in many aspects of raising culinary standards, helping national industry to flourish and also provide help those in need. Thanks to the initiative made by the President of the Myanmar Chefs Association and Board member of WACS initiative World Chefs Without Borders, Oliver Esser Soe Thet, and his team a great humanitarian action was taken. All the bakery and pastry products were brought to an organization that takes care for elder people, offering them a great gastronomy experience that mostly likely they haven’t had the chance to taste. Cooked meals went in hands of those in need, some skillfully and completely sanitary safe wedding cakes made by the competitors were sold for the Chefs Without Borders Myanmar, purposes that will be again use for humanitarians activities. Moreover, some hot meals made by volunteers and WCWB Myanmar Chefs were specially prepared for charity purposes. “It is all very possible if it’s well planned, taken care of and managed from the beginning”, said Oliver Esser Soe Thet.
Myanmar World Chefs Without Borders, national members of the Myanmar Chefs Association, were greatly active the last couple of years and showed excellent results in their humanitarian missions like, closely related also to WACS Feed The Planet initiative:
“Health Food for Healthy Teeth”, financial aid for medical operations and treatments, schools reconstruction and building, “Clean the beach” activity”, plenty of good actions in the field of community public service, donations for sport and recreational activities as well as the medical equipment, volunteer work to raise the educational standards and make knowledge available to everyone. As many new ventures to come, there seem to be no borders for Myanmar Chefs!
To take a look at the official 1st Yangon Culinary Young Chefs Challenge press release as well as the photos,
follow the links below:
Myanmar Chefs Association official press release
1st Yangon Culinary Young Chefs Challenge photo album

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