The 10th Nestlé Professional Culinary Arts Award (CAA) crowned a Taylor’s University student the winner of CAA 2018 today after an intensive three-day competition organised by Nestlé Professional in partnership with the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH). The long-running competition is part of a larger effort to develop young talents in the industry.
Held from 25-27 January 2018, the CAA 2018 saw 10 talented students from Malaysia’s top culinary institutions compete for the coveted grand prize of RM3,000 in cash and a 6-month internship under the tutelage of Antoine Rodriguez, Executive Chef at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur. The Champion also stood the chance to represent Malaysia in the upcoming ASEAN Skills Competition and World Skills Competition, a global movement to raise the profile and recognition of skilled individuals.
Commenting on the Awards, Yit Woon Lai, Nestlé Professional Business Executive Officer for Malaysia-Singapore said, “At Nestlé Professional, we believe in the importance of developing young talent and we are proud to collaborate with the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) to organise the 10th CAA that continues this proud tradition. With the bar being continually raised at each competition, we are confident that the CAA is on-track in helping Malaysia’s young talents represent the country with pride and competence in the field of culinary arts.”
Eng Sheng Pei (Edward), now in the 3rd year of his Diploma in Culinary Arts course, emerged as the winner of the 10th Nestlé Professional Culinary Arts Awards primarily because of his creation of “Garden”, a decadent dessert made of chocolate mousse, salted caramel and pistachio ‘sand’, which showcased his understanding and mastery of preparation, plating and the basics of cooking. He is excited to be able to take one step closer to achieving his dream.
“I have always found joy in preparing food and I am so grateful to all my lecturers, especially my mentor Mr. Farouk Othman who has tremendous faith in me. I hope I have made them proud and I am really looking forward to the privilege of interning under Chef Antoine,” said Eng.
The first runner-up, Idris Muaz Bin Mazlan of UiTM Permatang Pauh received a cash prize of RM2,000 while the second runner-up, Shaun Wong Wen Jin of UCSI University received RM1,000. Both runner-up winners also received a medal and certificate endorsed by Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and Skills Malaysia.
“It’s always a pleasure to see skill, passion and creativity in the kitchen, and it’s important to nurture these young talents so that more people can experience and appreciate their creations,” said Antoine Rodriguez, Executive Chef at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur. “I hope all the participants will inspire more young people pursuing a career in the culinary arts, bringing their own unique interpretation to the table and to the rest of the world.”
The professional judging panel comprised of Chef Sabri Hassan who is a Consultant at the Culinary Art and Kitchen; Chef Rajesh Khanna Director of Culinary, Restaurant and Bar of Sheraton Imperial KL Hotel; Chef Mohd Nazrin @ Ludwig Gaisbauer, owner of speciality food manufacturer German Delicatessen and Chef Antoine Rodriguez. Together, they evaluated every aspect of each participant, ranging from kitchen skills and organisation to appearance, taste and texture, and more.
Launched in 2006, the Nestlé Professional® Culinary Arts Award was organised with the objective of raising the standards of the culinary arts in Malaysia. Supported by Skills Malaysia, a programme developed by Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran (JPK) and endorsed by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), the award is opened only to selected top students from colleges that offer the Culinary Art Studies Diploma Programme.