HELP College of Arts and Technology (HELP CAT) has a small gem of a kitchen in its campus. The students and coaches from this culinary arts school has bagged a few awards, beating those from the big players and more established names.
Twenty year old Lai Jia Yi, one of HELP CAT’s culinary arts students, won the 9th Nestle Professional Culinary Arts Award (CAA) this year, beating participants from Berjaya University, UCSI, and Taylor’s. Jia Yi not only won a prize of RM3,000 but a six month internship at Le Meridien Hotel with executive chef Antoine Rodriguez. Jia Yi will also participate in the 2016 ASEAN Skills Competition in Kuala Lumpur, and if he wins, he will go on to compete in the 2017 World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Chef Shanmugam Rajoo, who is fondly known as Chef Shan, is one of the coaches in HELP CAT’s Culinary Arts School. He won the Coach of the Year award at the 9th Nestle Professional Arts Award too, which is his first win in 6 years.
“I’ve always loved cooking and working in the kitchen, but I also found much satisfaction when someone I have taught has managed to cook a delicious and presentable meal, and especially when they have gone on to win awards and prizes,” Chef Said said proudly. “We often push the students to compete in competitions so they get the experience
At last year’s Food and Hotel Malaysia (FHM) Salon Culinaire 2015 competition, HELP CAT’s students won one gold, three silver, and three bronze medals. It was the first time the college won a gold at this competition, and HELP CAT was the only college that had its lecturers participating in the competition and they were also elected to be part of the Culinaire Malaysia Organising Committee for Team Challenge Category.
The gold medal was won by Tan Jia Chee, for her fruit flambe. Lai Jia Yi also won a bronze medal for his seafood dish at the Food and Hotel Malaysia (FHM) Salon Culinaire 2015 competition.
“I’ve always found cooking interesting, hands on and exciting. When I was teenager, I decided to become a chef, so I was looking around for a culinary school, and I came across this Nutri Chef Challenge organized by HELP CAT. I participated in with a friend and we won,” said Jia Yi, who won a scholarship to study at HELP CAT when he won the competition.
HELP CAT’s Culinary Arts School organizes an annual competition known as the Nutri Chef Challenge and is open to Form 5, 6, Senior Middle 2 and 3 students, from secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur.
The Nutri Chef Challenge which is sponsored by Ajinomoto, Fonterra Brands, Pullman Hotel, Pastry Pro, FKF Hotel and Restaurant Supplies, and Crafs Equipments Malaysia, is designed to showcase the students’ knowledge and skills related to: developing and following a recipe, preparation of a dish, and displaying the dish before the judging session where it will be evaluated on flavor, taste, and palatability.
This year the theme for the competition is “Fusion Food’, which is a combination of two or more cooking elements into a dish. The competition will take place on Saturday 16 April 2016.
The Champion will win a full scholarship to pursue the Diploma in Culinary Arts at HELP CAT, in addition to a cash prize of RM1,000 per team, a Trophy Challenge, and a Certificate of Achievement. There are also attractive prizes for the 1st and 2nd Runner Ups, and other coveted prizes such as the Most Creative and Innovative Award, Most Organised Team Award, and Best Food Presentation Award.
HELP College of Arts and Technology (HELP CAT) offers a Diploma in Culinary Arts. This 2 years 4 months programme provides students with a sound foundation in culinary arts and entrepreneurial knowhow.
The programme offers students 60% of learning by practice and 40% of management knowledge and skills, and students will learn the fundamentals of French and Chinese cuisine. The classes are small and interactive, providing a better learning environment. The coaches have many years of industry and training experience, and are passionate about their profession.
HELP CAT collaborates with the prestigious Birmingham College, whereby students who are keen to complete a Bachelor’s degree can transfer there to complete their studies.
The college has French and Chinese kitchens, and a restaurant and kitchen known as L’Orangerie where many delicious meals have been served.
The culinary arts students always cook up a storm for guests during special occasions at HELP CAT. This year for the Chinese New Year party at HELP CAT, they presented some delicious dishes made out of their own special recipes not normally found in restaurants.
These entrepreneurial students also raise their own funds by selling snacks, food and drinks, and they provide catering services so that they can visit France and attend some courses at some top notch culinary arts schools such as Institut Paul Bucose to improve their cooking skills, and techniques.
If you love cooking and would like to join these up and coming celebrity chefs at HELP CAT’s Culinary Arts School, please call 03-27882039, or email the Head of the Centre, Mr Bonnie Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org . Schools that are interested in participating in the Nutri Chef Challenge may contact Ms Nurul at 03-27882049 or email her at email@example.com