Imagine winning a culinary competition and then receiving the most extraordinary prize that encompasses a dream culinary journey that a young chef is likely to remember for the rest of his or her life. That’s exactly what one young and aspiring chef will walk away with at the ‘Masak di Malaysia, Makan di Australia’ Culinary Challenge 2014 organised by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).
(L to R) Ms Pilar Palma (Berjaya University), Ms Elaine Leong (Tourism Australia), Ms Rose Yong (Meat and Livestock Australia), Ms Susan Kahwati (Senior Trade Commissioners of Australian Trade Commissioner), Mr Adrian Ung (Euro Atlantic), Mr Kanthan (Jaya Grocer)
The ‘Masak di Malaysia, Makan di Australia’ Culinary Challenge 2014, launched today by Austrade, their participating sponsors and Tourism Australia is a call for entries from Malaysian culinary institutes. The launch will describe eligibility requirements, timelines and judging criteria, including details of the exciting culinary journey that the winning chef will make by taking home a Grand Prize worth RM10,000.
Bringing the very best of Australia, right here to Malaysia, this unique culinary competition is unlike any other in that it challenges culinary enthusiasts to use Australian-made produce and products to create a delectable repertoire of dishes in a menu befitting the freshest, naturally grown and nurtured ingredients from Australia. Malaysia’s leading culinary schools, colleges and universities have been invited to send their best budding chefs to take up the challenge of representing their institution at this exciting competition.
Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner, Susan Kahwati, was inspired by celebrated playwright and author, George Bernard Shaw, and shares a quote from him, “There is no sincerer love, than the love of food.” One of the strongest bonds that Australians and Malaysians share is the love of good food”.
Ms Kahwati continues, “As we all know, the recipe for a great dish comes from equal parts – inspiration, creativity, skills and ingredients. Inspiration provides ideas, creativity and skills bring the ideas to life and fresh quality ingredients deliver the mouth-watering results.
“Austrade is proud to partner with Tourism Australia to bring you this culinary adventure: Masak di Malaysia, Makan di Australia. The budding chefs of Malaysia will be demonstrating their inspiration, creativity and skill in using Australian produce to inspire us. The winning chef will be winging their way to their own culinary adventure in Australia”.
For the eventual winner of the ‘Masak di Malaysia, Makan di Australia’ Culinary Challenge 2014, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity awaits – a dream tour of Australia‟s best culinary experiences. The Grand Prize winner will win an amazing travel experience to Australia, sponsored by Tourism Australia, which includes return flight tickets, accommodation, dining vouchers, visits to fresh food and seafood markets, tourist experiences. This culinary journey is worth around RM10,000 with thanks to Tourism Australia.
Elaine Leong, Country Manager, Malaysia for Tourism Australia, is enthusiastic about this culinary challenge and what Australia is able to offer. “Tourism Australia is proud to be working with Austrade for this exciting initiative and we hope that it will create and inspire new culinary advocates for Australia’s fantastic food and drinks scene.
“This initiative fits perfectly with the latest evolution of Tourism Australia’s global campaign called ‘Restaurant Australia’ which is all about bringing together the incredible stories of the people, places and produce to demonstrate to the world that every day, unique and exceptional food and wine experiences are being served-up in remarkable locations all throughout Australia.
Ms Leong continues that, “This campaign is underpinned by research conducted by Tourism Australia in 2013 in 15 of Australia’s key tourism markets which identified a significant gap in the perceptions of Australia’s food and wine offering. For people who have never visited Australia, only 26 per cent associate the destination with good food and wine offerings. But for those who have visited, Australia ranks second in the world for its food and wine experiences (60%) after culinary giant France and ahead of Italy. Furthermore, for visitors who have previously visited from China, USA, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the UK, and South Korea, Australia is ranked Number One in the world for having great food and wine. We truly believe that exceptional food and drink experiences from around Australia can play a starring role to convert the appetite for Australia as a travel destination into more visits.”
The competition, a first for Austrade, will not only provide an unforgettable experience for the winning participant, but also highlight the great culinary talents of Malaysia’s up and coming chefs. The competition candidates will be asked to submit a short video clip showcasing their cooking skills and unique personality – showing the world why they have what it takes to be a great chef and what it takes to be the winner of this culinary competition.
The ‘Masak di Malaysia, Makan di Australia’ Culinary Challenge 2014 initiative is part of an ongoing initiative by Austrade to showcase how Australian produce and products can be used to devise unique, tasty and exciting dishes to meet the demands of the increasingly discerning consumer in Malaysia. The competition also seeks to promote Australia as an exciting and unique travel destination for food-lovers as more Malaysians seek holiday destinations that offer high-quality and diverse dining experiences.
The launch today marks the start of the contest where submissions from budding chefs can be received through their culinary facility, school or university up to 15 August 2014. The contest is open to all culinary students (18 years and above) in Malaysia from recognised institutions. Each culinary school is invited to put forward their preferred candidate, who will need to develop a 2-3 minute video of themselves narrating about their dish, how it best reminds them of Australia and insights about their future culinary ambitions.
Candidate nominations and videos must be received from each participating culinary school to the Austrade Events Manager via email no later than close of business 15 August 2014. A culinary cooking challenge will be held on 20 September 2014 for the chosen semi-finalists, to select the lucky winner who will enjoy their once-in-lifetime culinary travel experience to Australia this year.
Present at today‟s launch were representatives from the Australian High Commission, Australian Trade Commission, Tourism Australia, Malaysia‟s culinary schools, polytechnics, hoteliers and major sponsors including Berjaya University College of Hospitality, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), Euro Atlantic and Jaya Grocer.
The Austrade-hosted event took place at Marble 8, Kuala Lumpur’s newest fine-dining establishment in Kuala Lumpur. Guests were treated to an all-Australian menu to get everyone in the mood.
Further information on ‘Masak di Malaysia, Makan di Australia’ Culinary Challenge 2014 can be found on the Austrade website at www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/culinarychallenge2014.