MICA’s ‘Black Box’ Culinary Challenge A Hit Amongst Budding Chefs in the Industry

Kuala Lumpur: MICA’s ‘Black Box’ Culinary Challenge held recently in conjunction with the MICA YOUNG CHEF TALENT SEARCH 2018 was a hit with budding young chefs of different races from all over the country. More than 50 young hopefuls turned up for a chance to win Gold, Silver and Bronze placings as well as to impress the judges made up of Celebrity Chefs, Executive Chefs, Presidents of Chefs Association in Malaysia and Culinary Experts in the industry. MICA is the abbreviation for Malaysian Indian Chefs Association led by President, Chef Ricky Narayanan and Advisor, Chef Shanmugam Rajoo both who brings with them more than 20 years of experience in the culinary industry.


All the panel of judges from Left: Chef Moses, Chef Shafique, Chef Bonnie, Chef Rizwandy, Chef Ricky, Chef Khairuddin, Chef Jason, Chef Shahrul, Chef Balan AND Chef Shanmugam for MICA's Black Box Culinary Challenge 2018.


“We are happy to have so many sponsors who have come together to make this event a success. Worthy mentions include Kewpie, U.S Potatoes Board, Simplot Malaysia, My Amma Samayal, nourish! Magazine, New World Hotel, Nona Malaysia, Giant Caterers, Cooking with Love Chefs, Moses Maritime, Bonica, Mr. Banner, Chakra Catering and DKSH. Academic sponsors include Linton University College, Segi University, CQ Breyer Group of Colleges and Management Science University (MSU). We also thank Dr. Steven Baptist, Principle of Sri Bestari Private School, who graciously agreed to provide the venue for the event,” said Chef Ricky. Winners received medals, certificates as well as numerous hampers & goodies from MICA and the sponsors.


The event was attended by more than 250 visitors who enjoyed cooking demonstrations by Chef Alex Gan (Kewpie Development Chef) and representatives from ADABI who came with their popular food truck. Representatives from DSN Coconut Oil also had food tasting sessions throughout the day.


(Left) A contestant Chef Ragu preparing his dish at the MICA’s Black Box Challenge 2018 held at Sri Bestari Private School. | (Right) A young budding chef from MSU showing her platting skills at MICA’s Black Box Challenge 2018 organised by Malaysian Indian Chefs Association (MICA) recently.


Gracing the event were MICA Ambassadors, Ms. Prashna Dewi (Miss Indian Cultural Malaysia 2017) and Mrs. Priyah Appnah (Mrs. Indian Cultural Malaysia 2017). Popular Celebrity Master Chef, Chef Sabri Hassan made a special appearance at the event to provide support, encouragement and mentorship advice to all the young chefs present for the competition. The Chief Judge for this event, President of Chefs Association of Malaysia 2016, Chef Khairuddin Kamaruddin applauded the effort by MICA for organizing the event for the community of young chefs in Malaysia.


After a crucial cookout session, Kelvin Gan Kar Wai, aged 20, was declared the Gold Winner with Distinction with his winning dish of Rolled Fillet of Sea Bass on the bed of U.S Potato Dauphinoise and Roasted Cajun Spiced Vegetables with Kewpie Sesame Sauce. “I am truly overjoyed with this win! I never expected to land the Gold placing as the competition was a tough one. Many other young chefs here came up with interesting dishes and I am glad that mine was up to the expectation of the judges,” said a teary-eyed Kelvin.


“I dedicate my win to both my parents for their great support and motivation. I hope to achieve greater heights in my career,” added Kelvin who cites his idol as mentor Chef Shanmugam Rajoo @ Chef Shan who has coached him to this successful win.


From Left Chef Shanmugam Rajoo (MICA Advisor), Mr. Bonnie Lopez, Celebrity Chef Sabri Hassan, Kelvin Gan Kar Wai (third from right) being awarded with the ‘Gold with Distinction’ placing by MICA President, Chef Ricky Narayanan (second from right) and Chef Khairuddin the Chief Judge for MICA’s Black Box Culinary Challenge 2018.


There were five Gold, five Silver and 11 Bronze medal winners for the event with eight Diploma awards given out to the MICA Black Box Culinary Challenge 2018 competitors.


Representative from DSN Coconut Oil, Dato’ Sasitharan Narayanan, one of the sponsors for the event said that he was proud to be a part of the team in making the competition a success as it is a good avenue to unearth raw talent as well as to give a boost to the budding chefs in the industry.


Another sponsor representative, Chef Syed Azhar from ADABI Trading House added, “Competitions like these are a great place to meet the younger generation of chefs as well as to look out for new trends in the food & beverage industry. MICA has done an excellent job in getting the ball rolling and we hope to collaborate more with them in the future with more culinary activities and events.”


MICA associates and collaborators include Chefs Association of Malaysia 2016, Melaka Chef Club, Kuching Chef Association, Aregala Malaysia, Aregala Turkiye, Korea Association of Master Chefs, Asochefs Nicaragua, amongst others.


For details on how to be a MICA member and for updates on their coming activities, please call 0111-5325708 or 012-6623559. You can also get the updates on the MICA Facebook and Instagram page too.

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