Korean cuisine competition draws large crowd at mall

KUCHING : UCSI University’s (UCSI) Sarawak Campus recently held a two-day cooking competition in search of the “Next Big Chef” last weekend at the Boulevard Shopping Mall. 

Open to secondary school students in Kuching, the competition saw the participation of 10 teams from five schools – namely, SMK St Thomas, SMK DPHA Gapor, SMK St Mary, SMK St Teresa and SMK Sungai Maong. 

The preliminary round on the first day consisted of two sessions that qualified four teams for the grand finale. 

Based on their theme of Korean cuisine, the contestants raced against time – one hour, to be exact – to prepare bibimbab – ‘mixed rice’ – in the preliminary round and two dishes, bibimbab and kimbab (rice rolls), in the grand finale. 

The winners were soon announced and contestants from SMK St Teresa – students Devonna Nellie AK Stanley and Cindy Lai Ik Von – emerged and champions of the “Next Big Chef”, qualifying them for the “Next Big Chef – All Star” competition. The latter will be held in March next year and these champions will move on to compete against the champions of “Iron Chef I” 2011 and “Iron Chef II” 2012. 

Notably, the panel of judges include UCSI head of programme (Culinary Arts) Joseph Pudun and Merdeka Palace Hotel executive chef Melvin Micheal Ben.

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