October 1, 2013

Culinaire Malaysia 2013 in Conjunction with FHM 2013: The Grand Finale at The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s Largest International Food & Hospitality Trade Event

If you have a chance, please make sure to check out the Culinaire Malaysia that takes place every two years! It is the food and hotel event of the year where Malaysia plays host to our local talents and F&B businesses together with international chefs and F&B trade. This year, there are over 8 halls in KLCC with many international business participating.

As a contributor in the nourish! magazine, the official magazine for FHM 2013, I managed to catch some actions on the last day of the four-day event. Check out nourish! magazine here. The grand finale of the 11th Culinaire Malaysia climaxes with the announcement of the winners at The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur.

First held in 1993 in Kuala Lumpur, this internationally acclaimed event is currently endorsed by World Association of Cooks Societies (WACS) and the Ministry of Tourism & Culture. Held alongside Food & Hotel Malaysia (FHM 2013) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Culinaire Malaysia drew a gathering of more than 1200 chefs, bartenders, F&B personnel from hotels and restaurants, students of culinary academies and apprentices from the nation as well as 57 local and international teams all the way from Germany, Russia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Indonesia who will be vying for 21 individual/team awards. Culinaire Malaysia’s 86 renowned judges from the international culinary and beverage world have made their verdict tonight.

“Culinaire Malaysia is all about reaching your dreams. It is about your passion.  Over these four days, we have witnessed 1,288 participants and 57 local and international teams battling to raise the bar with their mouth-watering concoctions and culinary masterpieces. It’s not about competing against each other to win, it’s about getting recognized. The objective of the event has always been to benchmark high level of competency standards in developing world class skills,” said Mr. Samuel Cheah, Organizing Chairman of Culinaire Malaysia in his speech.

“Culinaire Malaysia has always been a platform for many of our budding chefs, apprentices and F&B personnel to advance their career paths. With each show, the level is raised higher and I am encouraged each time when I see the impact that Culinaire Malaysia has on its participants. Their achievements in Culinaire Malaysia have led them to obtain higher positions in their profession or even have their own restaurant, consulting or training company,” he adds with encouragement.

The Organizing Chairman, Mr. Samuel Cheah, who is also the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Association of Hotels commented, “This is our 11th edition that featured 34 categories; cold display, patisserie, pastry cup challenge, artistic, butchery skill, hot cooking, team challenge, pub challenge, F&B gold opulence service and many more. Tonight we are all excited to hear of the winner.”

“In conjunction with Culinaire Malaysia 2013, Malaysia was also proud to host the Asean Hotel & Restaurant Association (AHRA) Conference 2013 which concluded successfully on 19th September with the theme, “The New Age Hospitality - Solutions for the next generation of hoteliers”adds Datuk Mohd Ilyas. The conference featured high profile speakers from the IT industry such as Ms. Tay Shen Li, Head of Internal Communications and Internet Strategies from CIMB Group; Mr. Varinderjit Singh, Vice President of Enterprise Business from Samsung Electronics Malaysia; Mr. Clifford Manifold, Regional Sales Director of Precor Incorporated; Mr. Gregory A. Duffell, President of Creative Advances Technology and Mr. Pearly Lim, 4G/LTE Program Manager from DiGi Telecommunications.

“On behalf of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, I am proud to congratulate Mr. Samuel Cheah and his Organizing Committee for their tireless efforts and sleepless nights all for the sake of this mega event. Our appreciation also goes to Chefs Association of Malaysia and the Malaysian F&B Executives Association for joining hands with us in this endeavour to bring Malaysian cuisine to the world stage,” said Datuk Mohd Ilyas Zainol Abidin, President of Malaysian Association of Hotels.

“Our congratulations to the Malaysian Association of Hotels, for once again organising the spectacular Culinaire Malaysia. As the venue sponsor, the Centre is honoured to host this event that encourages friendly competition amongst local chefs, inspiring then to further hone their skills to the benefit of the Malaysian hospitality industry,” added Datuk Peter Brokenshire, General Manager of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The nourish! team and nourish! Publisher, Mr. Ryan Khang with President, Chefs Association of Malaysian (CAM), Chef Chern Chee Hong and General Manager of the Malaysian Exhibition Services Sdn Bhd, Mr. Alun Jones

Many acclaimed chefs from local and international food and hospitality attended the dinner and the prize giving ceremony that night!

The Winners of Culinaire Malaysia 2013
1.     Most Outstanding Chef: Sazli Nazim Ismail – Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
2.     Most Outstanding Artist: Ahmad Redha – Hotel Royal Kuala Lumpur
3.     Most Outstanding Pastry Chef: Goh Dah Liang – The Westin Kuala Lumpur
4.     Most Outstanding F&B Personnel: Nursamiehah Ismail – Convex Malaysia Sdn Bhd
5.     Most Outstanding Bartender: Ellen Ho Yu Lin – Taylor’s University
6.     Most Outstanding Apprentice: Leong Wei Ming – Berjaya Higher Education Sdn Bhd
7.     Most Outstanding Barista: No Winner
8.     Most Outstanding Catering Services: Berjaya University College of Hospitality
9.     Most Outstanding Team in Culinary: Convex Malaysia Sdn Bhd
10.  Most Outstanding Chocolate Showpiece and Dessert Challenge: No Winner
11.  Most Outstanding Sugar Showpiece and Chocolate Challenge: No Winner
12.  Iron Butcher Chef of the Year: Champion – Norzi Kamis – The Datai Langkawi
13.  Table Setting – Gold Excellence: Chong Hui Lin – Berjaya University College of Hospitality
14.  Fruit Flambé – Gold Excellence: No Winner
15.  Cocktail – Gold Excellence: No Winner
16.  Mocktail – Gold Excellence: Pan Jian Cun – Ching Kuo Institute of Management and Health, Taiwan
17.  Dream Team Challenge: No Winner
18.  Red Majesty’s Chef’s Cup Team Challenge: Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs Singapore
19.  Nyonya’s Heritage Team Challenge: Champion – Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
20.  Remy & Linguini Team Challenge: Champion – Junior – Convex Malaysia Sdn Bhd
21.  Junior Chef’s Gourmet Battle Team Challenge Trophy: Project “T” – Taylor’s University

Our dinner of the night was a modern interpretation of modern Malay cuisine with a Western fusion touch. The four-course dinner with a palate cleanser was an interesting conversation piece, at least on my table.

Preserved Prawn Meat with Ginger, Brown Sugar Rice with Herbs & Sambal

A punchy salad with herbs and sambal sits on top of savory firm custard of prawn meat. Flavors are fresh and spicy with many textures on the dish.

Wet Spices Venison Soup with Crispy Puff Pastry

I love this modern take on a rustic and robust venison soup flavored with lots of peppery spices! Bits of tender venison and root vegetables are hearty and warming. The additional touch of golden puff pastry is the perfect partner to dip into the spicy broth. Buttery, flaky and savory, the combination is just delicious.

Soursop with Pomegranate Sorbet

Palate cleanser with soursop, fresh as it should be.

Stuffed Fish with Coconut Chili Paste & Rolled Chicken with Flower Crab Meat

The stuffed seaweed roll filling resembles otak otak, fish paste with spices while the chicken roulade was filled with crab meat. I prefer the stuffed fish with coconut chili paste for its aromatic flavors. The chicken roulade was a wee bit tough and dry as it was lean but the filling was decent. Flavors are good overall and my only gripe was the chicken.

Sapodilla Strudel with Teh Tarik Ice Cream

A lovely ending as the intense Teh Tarik ice cream is so beautiful in flavors. Maybe I am bias since I love a good cup of teh tarik but it’s just so good. An unique pairing with our local ciku encased in phyllo pastry and served with fruit skewer, chocolate and crunchy crumbs. I wanted more ice cream…

It was quite an experience at the Culinaire Malaysia 2013 and I am looking forward to the next one in 2015. I will make sure to check it out earlier next round as there was just so much to see at the event!

More details available at FHM website: www.foodandhotel.com and nourish! website: www.nourish-mag.com and Facebook: www.facebook.com/nourish.mag.my


  1. Ooh more leads on where to eat next. Love to see the winners. :-)

  2. Wow! Really stunning dishes at the dinner, unique & creatively spellbinding! Oooo...you're a big shot in the industry, eh? Dunno if we still can get that nourish magazine here - very Chinese community here, never bought a mag for a long long time.

  3. I was there but denied entry, they said the event is for food related professionals ! Too bad !

  4. No proper awarding ceremony we have to ask and find we're we could claim our medals.not exciting event some more not all gold medalist invited for the awarding dinner ceremony.

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