SMK TELOK KUMBAR REIGN SUPREME AT KDU COLLEGE PENANG’S 6TH POWER CHEF COMPETITION

The 6th Annual Power Chef Competition, hosted by KDU College Penang, was held on 13th April 2013 at the MyQuest 5-Star institution's ground. The competition drew over 130 high school students from all over Penang who came to support their schools that were participating in the amateur high school cooking competition.

Modeled after cooking reality shows such as the Iron Chef, Chopped, Top Chef and The Chopping Board, the annual competition by KDU College Penang's renowned School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts saw increased competitiveness this year. 67 teams from 21 secondary schools competed for the grand prize of RM1,000/- and other prizes that were sponsored by, amongst others, KDU College Penang, Eastin Hotel Penang, 1M4U, the Penang State Government, Sakae Sushi Penang, Holiday Inn Resort Penang, JB Steel Sdn. Bhd., Legoland Malaysia, Maxis Sdn. Bhd. and the, Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia. The added attraction for this year's competition was that the participants were judged and constructively critiqued by a panel of star personalities that included Chef Mitchell Stewart from the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Murugan, Chef Azhar, Chef Albert Goh and Food Blogger Jason LK Wong. The Guest of Honour was Mr. Andy Fong, the Vice Chairman of Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang.

In true culinary style, the starter for the competition was "Malaysian Cuisine Appetizer". It was intense from the get-go as visitors and supporters of the respective teams jostled for the best spot to cheer their team. This year's participating teams were better prepared than the previous years, as evidenced by more attention to details and highly creative setups. The judges were so impressed with culinary creations produced during the qualifying round that they had to add another finalist to the list of top 10 teams selected to compete in the final round of the "Malaysian Main Course" category. Those who did not qualify for the final round were, however, given the opportunity to participate in a "Cake Decoration" competition that also had attractive prizes.

KDU College Penang's Celebrity Chef, Chef Aravinthan and Mr. Nik Ahmad Ridzaffi Taqriz Shah who planned and coordinated the KDU Power Chef competition said the judging criteria this year placed greater emphasis on good hygiene practices aside from the participants' innovative culinary creations. Chef Aravinthan further added, "They are holistically graded in the area of grooming, hygiene, time management, creativity and product display. This year's Power Chef is also extra special as in line with popular demand, we now have a new Teacher's Category where teams comprising high school teachers compete to prepare creations under the "Malaysian Main Course" Category."

Ms. Cindy Loh, the Academic Department Head for KDU College Penang's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, in her speech offered words of encouragement to the participating teams and congratulated them on their thorough preparation for the competition. She further mentioned that as the pioneer and leading Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts School in the northern region, the School has always been mindful of the need to promote and nurture among students, an interest in the culinary field and that this year's participants are privileged as they have been given the opportunity to use the School's multi-million ringgit industry standard kitchens such as the Careme pastry kitchen. In her speech, Ms. Cindy Loh also thanked the School's Epitome Team that comprised final year students from the Swiss IMI Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel and Tourism Management program in planning and running the event as part of their events management project.

Concurring with Ms. Cindy's view, Dr Chong Beng Keok, the CEO & Principal of KDU College Penang said at the event that, "Penang is one of the most livable islands in the world and it is populated with savvy big-city diners who demand culinary standards that are on par with the world's best. With this in mind, the competition hopes to unearth talents, discover new interests and open doors to a fulfilling career".

Siti Nur Aainaa Johari and Siti Zulaikha Razak from SMK Telok Kumbar won the grand prize comprising RM1000 cash, medals, buffet vouchers from Hard Rock Hotel, knife sets, culinary books and a hamper, and the prestigious KDU Power Chef Challenge Shield that will be proudly displayed at their school for a year, until 2014.

The First Runner Up, Nor Hazwati Riduan and Norhaslina Kasim from SMK Penanti, received RM800 cash, medals, Golden Sands Resorts' dinner vouchers, knife sets and a hamper. The Second Runner-Up, Lim Zhi Han and Lim Yew Chun from SMJK Chung Ling, received RM600 cash, medals, G Hotel Dinner vouchers, knife sets and a hamper.

In the Teacher's Category, Rosini Johari from SMK Penanti emerged the first Teacher Power Chef Champion and her prizes included a 3D2N stay with complimentary breakfast at Taj Rebak Hotel, a knife set, an Eastin Hotel goodie bag and a hamper. Siti Nur Shahirah Yusof from SMK Convent Pulau Tikus, the First Runner Up, won a 2D1N stay with complimentary breakfast at Four Points Resort, a knife set, an Eastin Hotel goodie bag and hamper. Kelvin Chan Kok Hoe from SMJK Phor Tay Private, the Second Runner Up, won buffer dinner vouchers for 2 at Spice Market Café, Rasa Sayang Hotel, a knife set, an Eastin Hotel goodie bag and a hamper.

All in all, everyone had a really enjoyable time, which speaks volume of the School's ability to successfully host the Power Chef Competition. Indeed it marks yet another feather in KDU College Penang's cap.

KDU Powerchef 2013 Champions KDU Powerchef 2013 Champion –
Teacher’s Category
Winners 2013 Chief Judge Chef Mitchell Stewart
with Judge Chef Azhar
Asian Squid Appetizer Guest of Honour and Judges

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