Left, Lee Yung Shun and Choo Zee Hong, from Confucian Private Secondary School, ecstatic winners of Nutri Chef 2016
KUALA LUMPUR, Saturday 16th April 2016 – It was indeed an exhilarating time for the 18 teams from various schools in the Klang Valley as they competed in Nutri Chef Challenge 2016, organized by HELP College of Arts and Technology (HELP CAT) to create the best fusion dishes to impress judges and critics. The Nutri Chef Challenge has proved popular among secondary schools and provides an ideal training platform for young aspiring chefs. This has proved true in the case of Lai Jia Yi, who won Nutri Chef in 2013 and joined HELP CAT’s Diploma in Culinary Arts in 2014 as part of the prize for being a winner.
This year Lai was declared Champion in Nestle Professional’s Culinary Arts Award (CAA) 2016. The Champions for this year’s Nutri Chef Challenge, Choo Ze Hong and Lee Yong Sun, who made up a team from Confucian Private Secondary School, were ecstatic on their win,
“It is a dream come true for us as we enjoy cooking and have been training under our teacher for the past three years and both of us eventually want to work in the Culinary Arts as chefs,” said both Choo and Yong, who currently are enrolled in Form 6 at Confucian Private Secondary School. Both shared the prize money of RM 1,000 as well as a 100% fee waiver to pursue the Diploma in Culinary Arts at HELP CAT. The two items that won them the competition, “Fish and Chips Revolution” and “Lava Cake”, both well-received by the judges.
The judges, well-recognized in the food and beverage industry, Leslie Hon Kha Sen, Assistant Vice-President, Events, The Malaysian Food and Beverage Executives Association, Chef Khairuddin Kamarudin from Chef Association of Malaysia 2016, Chef Loke Hoi Weng from UCSI University and Chef Nor Lizawati binti Mohd Noor from GIATMARA Setiawangsa. Leslie said he was impressed with the high standards of food preparation and applauded the courage of those who took part as it offered good exposure for those interested in it as a career option.
According to Bonnie Lopez, Head of Centre for Culinary Entrepreneurship and Hotel Management at HELP CAT,
“The vision of HELP CAT’s Centre of Culinary Entrepreneurship and Hotel Management is to maintain an established reputation with a high culinary standard of food quality, creativity and presentation as well as overall appearance, good professional attitude together with a warm hospitality for people from diverse cultures. The Nutri Chef Challenge 2016 encourages competitors to embody these qualities in their preparation and presentation of the food during the Challenge” said Bonnie, who felt the competitors had exhibited great enthusiasm and creativity during the competition. Initiated in 2013, Nutri Chef is open to all secondary school students in the Klang Valley, Form 5, 6, Senior Middle 2 and 3 students with the objective to encourage culinary arts so the students might pursue it as a career choice.
All the participants from the 18 teams pose in a winning shot at HELP CAT, together with the Chefs and the school representatives.
HELP CAT specializes in French and Chinese cuisine and also has a cosy restaurant, L’Orangerie, which serves as a training ground for the culinary students who regularly cater for events at HELP CAT and also participate in competitions. The Nutri Chef Challenge 2016 is mainly presented by Ajinomoto (Malaysia) Berhad, is designed to showcase the students’ knowledge and skills related to developing and following a recipe, preparation of the dish, displaying the dish before the judging session, where it will be evaluated for flavour, taste and palatability.
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 University 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 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.
Some of these entrepreneurial students are hoping to visit France and attend some courses at some top notch culinary arts schools such as University of Cergy-Pontoise have been selling snacks, food, drinks, and providing catering services to raise funds for their trip.