ALTHOUGH THERE ARE MANY DEMANDING FIELDS OF EXPERTISE NONE IS MORE CHALLENGING THAN THAT OF GASTRONOMY. THESE CULINARY CRAFTSMEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE FACT THAT PASSION,PRECISION AND PATIENCE ARE OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE WHEN IT COMES TO THE ART OF FOOD PREPARATION. IN THIS ISSUE, TOP 10 OF MALAYSIALOOKS AT THE TOP TEN NEW GENERATION MALAYSIAN CHEFS (BASED ON THERESULTS OF ITS RECENT SURVEY) THAT HAVE ENAMORED MALAYSIANS WITH THEIR DETERMINATION, DRIVE AND DELICIOUS CUISINES
1. Malcom Goh
A celebrity chef, Malcolm made his television debut on Asian Food Channel’s (AFC), Great Dinners of the World. He started his professional career as a Commis III and after six years,he ventured towards the academic side of Hospitality as a Culinary Executive/ Supervising Chef at BERJAYA University College of Hospitality. He teaches practical and theory classes to the Diploma in Culinary Arts students. Chef Malcolm has won numerous awards and competitions, namely: Nestlé’s 3rd Golden Chef Hat Awards, Chaîne Des Rotisseurs Best Commis of Malaysia , Apprentice Live Hot Cooking & Apprentice Set Menu Cold Displayat Culinaire Malaysia Hans Bueschkens World Junior Chefs Challenge Santiago. Being a master at concocting culinary delights, Malcolm is taking the Kuala Lumpur culinary scene by hosting his own show, Back to the Streets along side Tham Zer Peen.
2. Sherson Lian
Having worked in the food industry for the past 10 years, Sherson knows a thing or two about the culinary business. A guest judge onthe reality programme, Dapur Selebrity and host of Malaysia’s lifestyle cook show, 5 Rencah 5 Rasa, Sherson sure has done it all. He also starred in the AFC original production, Great Dinners of the World along side Chef Malcom Goh. The series documents his travels through France and Scotland with three talented chefs as they serve up delicious dinners for VIP guests. Sherson enjoys traveling around the world, diving and music. He is the lead singer of the band Cross Fusion, performing at corporate events and various music festivals.
3. Anis Nabilah
Anis, the host of TV3’s Icip-Icip, was no stranger to the kitchen as she grew up watching her mother and six sisters whip up local favourites. Motivated by those closestto her, Anis decided to pursue the culinary art in 2007. She graduated with a diploma at the Food Institute of Malaysia. Travelling all around Malaysia and cooking on location with both passion and enthusiasm, Anis has made Malaysian cooking easy for viewers by providing easy-to-learn recipes and tasty tips that anyone could master. Anis has competedin a number of international cooking competitions held across Malaysia, and haswon numerous awards and accolades to date.
4. Johnny Fua
Chef Johnny also got his big break as a celebrity chef on AFC’s,Great Dinners of the World. But when it comes to his cooking, his philosophy is unique indeed. He draws strength from his background in architecture to exude a calm, structured discipline within the kitchen that comes alive through plates that reflect clean lines.He loves emphasising natural flavours so as to reflect the cuisines’ immediate environment, giving each ingredient a unique identity.Even at his age Johnny is relentlessly eager to expand his knowledge on various cuisines, techniques and ingredients. He firmly believes that a person should first feasts with the eyes, then taste with the tongue. With that firm belief combined with his passion and training from both architectural and culinary disciplines, every meal formedby Chef Johnny is tasteful in every aspect.
5. Ezani Farhana
Winner of the first season of Master Chef Malaysia, Ezani is a dentistby profession but who enjoys cooking with a passion. Ezani grew up idolizing Chef Wan and Jamie Oliver but never dreamed she would claim the title, ‘Master Chef ’ someday. Ezani also shares the fact that her participation in Master Chef Malaysia has been such an eye opener and a great learning experience. She especially valued the lessons learned from senior guest chefs as well as other contestants present. She enjoys cooking in various types of situations and treasures the exposure to various culinary arts. Winning the first season of Master Chef was truly surprising for Ezani as she never dreamed that she would be walking away with RM100,000, a Master Chef trophy and such cherished recognition.
6. Kamarul Hasni
With a strong foundation in culinary basics and his happy-go-lucky attitude, Chef Kamarul is another foodie at heart. He has hosted various cooking programmes, such as, Cabaran Seribu Satu Rasa Baba’s, Inspirasi Koko, Makan Tapi Diet, Ala Carte, and Diet @Ramadhan. Besides that Kamarul has also written various recipe books such as Resepi 30 Minit, Main Masak-Masak and Dapur Xpress. Kamarul has also won various cooking competitions,including the Singapore International FHA Culinary Challenge, Penang International Gastronumique Culinaire and the Gourmand World Cookbook Award.
7. Kok Chee Kin
With more than 20 years experience in the culinary world, Chef Kok Chee Kin is no stranger to fine Chinese cuisine. It was indeed a long journey climbing the ladder to be able to put on the coveted top-chef ’s hat and the envied position as Executive Sous Chef of the acclaimed Dynasty Restaurant. Beginning his professional journey as Chef de Partie at the Putra World Trade Centre, Chef Kin then moved to hotels, securing a position as Assistant Chinese Banquet Chef at the Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, then a Chinese Banquet Chef at the Rennaissance Hotel and finally Chef de Cuisine. Besides being a successful chef, Chef Kin has also shown an aptitude for management,having twice won the hotel’s Manager of the Quarter award.
8. Khairuzzaman Ahmad Hadzri
Having experience in working for major luxury hotel chains in Kuala Lumpur, including Istana Hotel, Hotel Nikko, The Renaissance and Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi, Chef Khairuzzaman (Man) has tremendous experience and knowledge in the food arena as he boasts an uncanny ability to stay cool when the going gets tough. This Malaysian-born chef is very much at home with various culinary styles and skills. His strength lies in his versatility and ability to move from one kitchen to the next while immersing in a variety of cuisines. His creativity in preparing and presenting classical dishes with innovative presentations promises a memorable dining experience and a feast for the senses.
9. Pearl Woo
With eight years of culinary experience in Contemporary Latin American Cuisine, Chef Pearl is surely an asset to The Westin Kuala Lumpur. Born and raised in Kuching, Sarawak, Pearl constantly strives to create sumptuous Latin American cooking with a twist. Her love of cooking was inspired by Cuban Master Chef Maricel Presilla – the first Latin American woman to have been invited as a guest chef at the White House. Pearl also draws inspiration from her dad’s home-styled comfort food cooking. Pearl is best known for working with only the freshest and most premium ingredients such as Master Kobe Beef and Rainbow Trout which is one of her greatest pleasures, and also in creating dishes that will amaze her diners.
10. Loh Jiunn Voon
Over the last 15 years, Loh Jiunn Voon has honed his skills as chef in various hotels and restaurants in Malaysia. As the new Executive Chinese Chef of the Emperor Restaurant, Grand Dorsett Subang, Chef Loh specialises in Cantonese and Szechuan style cuisines. His blueprint for culinary success stems from a blend of using simple spices combined with his preferred emphasis on freshness, innovative flair and earnest enthusiasm. The underlying philosophy throughout Chef Loh’s career is that the Chinese cuisine is a divine art form. He believes that the long hours are the most trying challenges of being a chef but the happiest, is the satisfaction that comes from seeing a satiated customer and that is without equal, making it all worthwhile.