THE team comprising Wong Cheng Peng and Chong Zhen Ling from Foon Yew High School, Kulai came up tops in the Ninth Taylor’s National Culinary Challenge 2019.
The dynamic duo were one of 17 teams shortlisted for the finals after going through an intensive mentoring session with chef lecturers from Taylor’s University. Their determination to win saw them practice over and over to perfect their dessert dish, Belle Fille.
Head of the School of Food Studies and Gastronomy Siti Ramadhaniatun Ismail said she was very impressed with the level of presentation and skill that the 34 students exhibited.
“Since we started this competition nine years ago, I’ve noticed a distinct shift in the perception of youth about the area of culinary arts.
“It has been most evident this year as I noticed the level of finesse and thought exhibited by the secondary school stdents who took part.
“They put more thought into how they conceptualise the dish as well as the ingredients used to come up with their selected dish, ” she said.
Siti Ramadhaniatun said the chefs who mentored the participants were also dedicated to seeing the students succeed.
They went above and beyond to ensure that the students were able to gain an in-depth understanding about the different concepts surrounding the field of gastronomy, specifically in pastry, she added.
“Their passion and commitment definitely rubbed off on the participants and this was probably a turning point for all them, ” she said.
This event is one of the ways that the School of Food Studies and Gastronomy spreads the love of culinary arts to secondary school students nationwide.
Cheng Peng and Zhen Ling left the competition with a sweet taste thanks to their win of RM3, 000, a trophy and a medal each.