Fresh from coaching Taylor's University School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts (TCHT) student to victory in Germany, Chef Farouk Othman played an active part in the victory of the Taylor's University team in the Junior Chef's Gourmet Battle Team Challenge at Culinaire Malaysia recently.
The six-member team wowed the judges in this bi-annual competition, clinching the coveted Junior Chef’s Gourmet Battle Team Challenge title. Team ‘Project T' comprising of Ng Jun Kang, Tong Pak Wen, Leong Wai Yi, Lee Khuan Long, Kon Yee Siang and Julian Peter Ranjit, were part of a delegation of more than 50 students from TCHT who participated in this competition. Project T walked away with RM3,000 cash prize.
According to Chef Farouk, the students worked really hard preparing for the competition, "We trained weekly 3 months prior to the competition. The items that were displayed had at least gone through 12 rounds of practices, although we made some changes at the last minute during the competition."
Quoting the legendary basketball player, Micheal Jordan, "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships", Chef Farouk added that teamwork has been an important factor in contributing to the win. "As we practice every week, the team members got closer and improved their team synergy towards achieving a common goal – to finish top! I am extremely proud of their achievement and judging from their dedications throughout this process, I have no doubts that they will go far in their careers," said Chef Farouk.
Another student, Ellen Ho Yu Lin also clinched the Most Outstanding Bartender title.
In total, the Taylor's team brought home a tally of 25 medals at the end of the four-day competition, making Taylor's the biggest winner for non-industry participants, just behind Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre who was the biggest winner with 33 medal tally.
Mr Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Dean of Taylor's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Hospitality, expressed his satisfaction over the overall performance of this year's team.
“I am proud with the performance showcased by our students. The showmanship they have displayed is certainly commendable and I hope that this spirit is something that the will continue to practice when they enter the workplace,” he said.
Organised by the Malaysian Association of Hotels, Chefs Association of Malaysia and The Malaysian Food & Beverage Executives Association, Culinaire Malaysia is the region’s largest culinary competition and is held in conjunction with the Food & Hotel Malaysia Exhibition (FHM). Culinaire Malaysia aims to set a higher benchmark on the culinary standards in the Malaysian hospitality industry, and to recognize and motivate individual chefs who excel in their field of culinary arts that match world standards.
Held on a bi-annual basis, this year’s Culinaire Malaysia was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from 17th to 20th September and attracted over 1,500 entries from local and international participants.
Watch the videos of the students in action here.