Taylor’s University Win Big at Culinaire Malaysia 2017

Taylor’s University students and staff brought home an impressive medal tally of 25 medals during the recent Culinaire Malaysia 2017 competition held in Kuala Lumpur, recently. Culinaire Malaysia is the region’s largest culinary competition and is held in conjunction with the Food & Hotel Malaysia Exhibition (FHM). Culinaire Malaysia competition is set to be another benchmark in the international culinary industry. Taylor’s University emerged top 3 in this prestigious International competition alongside world renowned KL Convention Centre and 5 star prestigious Hotel Istana. In addition, the university also won the Most Outstanding Team in Catering Service award.

Dubbed the Malaysian Battle of the Chefs, this year, over 1,000 Crème De La Crème of Malaysia’s culinary professionals from local and international hotels, restaurants and education institutions competed in 37 categories.

Taylor’s University sent a strong team of chef lecturers and students from the Faculty of Hospitality, Food & Leisure Management (FHLM) to compete in 18 culinary and catering service categories which includes pastry showpiece, cold display, cocktail, and table setting to name a few.  Taylor’s brought home 3 Golds, 7 Silver and 15 Bronze medals, an impressive feat for Taylor’s competing against leading professionals from the Industry.

Dr Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Executive Dean of Faculty of Hospitality, Food & Leisure Management congratulated his students and staff for the impressive performance of the team.

“I am extremely proud with the performance showcased by our students and chef lecturers. The showmanship they have displayed is certainly commendable and I hope that this spirit is something that the students will continue to practice when they enter the workplace. Winning the Most Outstanding Team in Catering Service category is an icing on the top for us, befitting our recent World QS ranking as top 30 in the world,” he said.

Sam Kai Liang, gold winner for the Apprentice 4-Course Western Set Menu category shared, “Winning my first Gold is great! I will never forget the moment my name was called and holding the Gold medal in my hands for the first time. It made all the hard works of 2 months training and non-stop practices worth it, and I feel really appreciative to all the people that helped me succeed, especially my mentors and trainers, Taylor’s Chef Lecturers.”

Sam Kai Liang and one of his winning dishes

“Competing with professionals from the Industry made me felt nervous but I was determined to do my best, remember what I had learned and to stay focus. The chance to place my dish side by side with other top professionals waiting to be judged is priceless,” added Sam, a year 2 Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Food Service Management (Hons) student.

Left-to-right; Wan Afiq Hussaini, Sam Kai Liang & Yap Ken Kai

Another Gold medal winner, Wan Afiq Husaini Wan Ali Munawar, a year 3 Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Food Service Management (Hons) student, claimed that calmness, patience, commitment and humility are the ingredients to winning the competition.

“Ever since I started my journey in Culinary Arts, one of my goal was to represent Taylor's University in the FHM's Culinaire competition and show everyone I have what it takes to make it in this industry. I trained under Taylor’s University best Chef Lecturers who are experts in their fields to come up with the menus for both my given categories.

Training was intense and rigorous! I had to go through trial and error numerous times until the dishes are deemed competition worthy. Training was about 2 months and a half, but I gained invaluable knowledge and experience along the way, which have made me a better person physically, emotionally and mentally prepared in facing any obstacles I will face in the coming future of my career in this industry.

I was overwhelmed at first because I was pitted against the best in Malaysia and other international competitors from countries such as Taiwan, Korea and China,” shared Wan Afiq who won the Apprentice Salmon Main Course (Western Cuisine) category.

Jeslyn doing her Fruit Flambe
For Jeslyn Tan Jia Yee, a veteran in participating in cocktail competitions, competed in 3 categories and won Gold for Table Setting, Silver for Flambé and Bronze for Cocktail on the first and second day of the competition. On the last day of the competition, she was invited to compete in Best of the Best category and won Gold Excellence Award for Fruit Flambé category. She is motivated by her passion in being an F&B personnel, her love in making her own creations, and her drive to continuously improve and challenge herself.

Jeslyn Tan Jia Yee with her medals

“Preparing for this competition was tough. I was away on my student exchange programme in Germany and only got back to Malaysia a month before the competition. Hence, before I got back, I can only work on the theoretical side, which is making my recipe/menu planning and concept for each categories.  Once I was back in Malaysia, it was hands on training all the way, but I enjoyed every moment of it. I always believed that competition is not just about competing but also a learning process for me. I learned a lot from other contestants as well.” shared the year 3 Bachelor of International Hospitality Management (Hons) student.

The Malaysia representative and gold winner in the cooking category under the Hospitality and Culinary Skills at the 11th ASEAN Skills Competition 2016, Lai Jia Yi, a year 3 Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management (Hons) student also competed at the Culinaire 2017 in the Global Chef category. Jia Yi was competing in this category against other top professional Chefs from the industry to bag the silver medal.

Lai Jia Yi during the Culinaire 2017 competition