The Battle of the Chefs is a Penang state signature culinary competition organised by the Penang Chefs Association. Its 18th and most recent edition was held from 5 to 7 August at Gurney Paragon Mall.
This year, the association received over four hundred registrations from forty organisations, including participants from Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea. The overwhelming participation was because the competition was supposed to be held in 2020 but had to be postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 situation.
The two primary challenges for this competition were the Greenhorn Chefs Challenge (Junior), open to students of universities and training institutions of higher learning, and the Master Chefs Challenge, open to all professional and amateur chefs and cooks from hotels, restaurants, and home and industry catering.
SEGi College Penang sent two representatives to participate in the Hot Cooking categories for the Hot Pasta Dish Challenge (Authentic Italian Taste/Fusion). The Greenhorn Chefs Challenge (Junior) was represented by Ben Ooi Kok Keong, a student from the Diploma in Culinary Arts, with his dish, Smoked Duck Aglio Olio.
SEGi College Penang’s chef lecturer, Mr Muhammad Yazid bin Ani, took up the Master Chefs Challenge with his dish, Spicy Chili Oil Beef Pasta. With his guidance, passion and experience in the industry, Chef Muhammad Yazid creates an effective learning environment for his students, giving Ben the courage to participate in the competition.
Although they had only a few weeks to prepare and only on weekends, as they were still occupied with classes, they both walked away as winners. Ben bagged the silver award in the junior challenge, while Chef Muhammad Yazid won the bronze in the Master Chefs Challenge.
SEGi College is very proud of our student Ben and our lecturer Chef Yazid for their respective victories, which are great achievements not only for our School of Hospitality and Tourism but also for SEGi College as a whole. We look forward to more of our students participating in and winning other such competitions.