Malaysia National Junior Culinary Team Triumphs on the World Stage

Gold Medal for Hospitality Students at the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA)/Culinary Olympics 2020

The Malaysia National Junior Culinary Team comprising Sunway University School of Hospitality students Alicia Tay, Pang Jin Yong, Amanda Cheah, Tsen Jun Yan and Amirul Ashraf, and Ilya Dayana from Kolej Yayasan Pahang, won a gold medal for the “Restaurant of the Nations” category and a silver medal for the “IKA Buffet” category at the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA)/Culinary Olympics on 14 to 19 February 2020.

Our national team clinched the medals with Malaysian cuisine, showcasing the best of Malaysian flavours with ‘RasaRasa Malaysia’, or a taste of Malaysia for both categories. The team prepared a warm trout and seafood mousseline with ‘laksa’ sauce, lentil and trout fritters, and pickled salad with puffed tofu. The main course prepared was coriander and ginger-torch flower crusted chicken with tamarind sauce, five-spice roll, chicken ravioli, stuffed cabbage, squash puree and market vegetables. For dessert, the team presented chocolate mousse with honey madeleine, hazelnut cake, passion fruit - banana compote, yuzu sauce and whipped ganache.

The IKA/Culinary Olympics is the world’s oldest and largest international culinary art exhibition. The event saw over 2,000 chefs from more than 60 nations participating in the culinary competitions. The IKA/Culinary Olympics is hosted by the German Chefs’ Association, Verband der Köche Deutschlands e.V. (VKD).

Team Captain, Alicia Tay said, “We are exceptionally grateful for the support from Sunway University, the many individual sponsors and corporate partners who have supported our hopes and dreams for Malaysia by sponsoring raw materials, utensils as well as donated funds to make the team’s dream to compete in the prestigious competition a reality. Our win is a win for Malaysia!”

Sunway University’s School of Hospitality teaching fellow Chef Soon Pau Voon who is also the Team Coach said, “Competing in the IKA/Culinary Olympics gives an opportunity for the young chefs to enhance their learning experience beyond the doors of their kitchen. We are proud to present our dishes which highlights the tapestry of flavours of our Malaysian cuisine.” Sunway Education Group CEO Dr Elizabeth Lee said that the win was a coup for Malaysia’s culinary scene.

The team was mentored and coached by Sunway University’s School of Hospitality teaching fellows Chef Soon Pau Voon (Team Coach), Chef Lee Han Ying, Chef Chong Wei Tzeh and its Head Chef and Teaching Fellow Professor Chef Patrick Siau, who led the Malaysia National Pastry team as the Coach to win first place at World Pastry Cup (Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie) held in Lyon last year.

In addition, Malaysia Professional Culinaire Association (PCA) Vice President Chef Pele Kuah, and Head Chef of Read Bean Bag Chef Muhd Fhaizal Mustafa, and Sunway University Alumni Chef Queeny Cheong also mentored the team towards the achievement.

A prelude to participating in the IKA/ Culinary Olympics 2020, the team comprising Tay, Pang, Cheah and Carmilya Aina from Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College represented the Youth Professional Culinaire Association (YPCA) Malaysia Culinary Team and won gold at the Shanghai International Young Chefs Cup (IYCC).

12 National and Regional Teams from Asia, Pacific, Africa, and America, were invited for the IYCC, part of the 2019 FHC China International Culinary Arts Competition, that had over 600 participants competing in more than 25 categories


This article appeared in Blaze (Issue 52).