Sunday August 5, 2012
In sync with the cuisine
CRUNCHY bites and delectable dishes were whipped up at the recent Food and Hotel Asia 2012 Culinary Challenge (FHA).
The competition saw the participation of chefs and culinary schools from various countries including Malaysia’s Sunway University.
Second year Diploma in Culinary Arts students Anthony Liew Khar Khiaw and Lee Kai Sean as well as lecturer Chef Chong Wei Tzeh did the varsity proud by bringing home two silver medals and one bronze medal.
Kai Sean created a cold appetiser, aptly named “Symphony of Seafood”, that showcased a creative interplay of seafood sensations such as baby octopus and prawn mousse.
“The dish is an explosion of flavours. The taste from the baby octopus creates a fresh and light taste that is enveloped with a dash of mousse thus giving it a fluffy and tangy flavour,” he explained, adding that other ingredients used were prawn oil for the aroma and balsamic reduction vinegar for added flavour.
Meanwhile, Anthony evoked tangy and spicy flavours with a main course of potatoes, stewed beans and lemongrass.
With only an hour to prepare the entire dish, he relied on improvisation of his techniques and preparations to finish the dish within the time limit.
Chef Chong participated in the Sugar Show Piece and Neptune’s Catch, walking away with a silver and bronze medal respectively.
He sculpted a red and blue flower that was created piece by piece and assembled together.
“I practised for approximately two weeks to ensure the texture and temperature of the sugar was accurate. I also received a lot of guidance from Chef Patrick Siau who has a lot of experience in creating sugar pieces,” he shared.
Chef Siau is a lecturer and the head chef of the varsity’s Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Management.
Chef Chong’s other winning dish was the pan fried salmon with green peas, potato mousseline and mixed mushroom fricassee with crustacean sauce. The sauce was infused with tea to enhance its flavours.
Students Nurul Bellena and Steven Kua Kean Kwang also participated in the competition. Although they did not win, they were exposed to the culinary world and earned an unforgettable experience.
“I now know what it takes to prepare for a competition especially in terms of learning, organising and planning.
“It is not easy and everything is learned based on trial and error. The criticism I obtained from the competition will push me and encourage me to work harder in future competitions,” said Steven.