The Next Big Chef – Season II in Boulevard Shopping Mall

UCSI University had successfully organised the Next Big Chef – Season II in the Boulevard Shopping Mall Kuching on 22 and 23 November 2014. 

A popular annual event of the University, this culinary competition is open to students from local secondary schools. A total of 15 teams consisting of two members per team were participating in the event. Secondary schools took part in this competition were SMK St Mary, SMK Bandar Kuching No.1, SMK DPHA Gapor and Kolej Vokasional Batu Lintang. 

Champions of Next Big Chef – Season II were Mohd. Muzamir Bin Mohd. Adnan and Nurhafiza Hasikin Binti Ihsan from Kolej Vokasional Batu Lintang; 1st Runner-up were Sofia Ng Shu Yi and Chang Yuen Ling from SMK Bandar Kuching No.1; 2nd Runner-up were Mohammad Arabfat Bin Omon and Nur Ammirah Balqish Binti Shariff from Kolej Vokasional Batu Lintang; 3rd Runner-up were Christina Hoon Siew Keung and Chin Chai Sung from SMK Bandar Kuching No.1 followed by Nur Sabrina Ainul Hayat Binti Adhidayat and Michelle Gilbert; Fatihah Nur Aliya Binti Matsa’at and Beatrice Intiera Binti Collins Joseph from Kolej Vokasional Batu Lintang. 

Prizes for the competitions were hampers sponsored by Nestlé Malaysia and UCSI University. 

The participants are required to prepare a set of international cuisine with Korean elements in the preliminary round, themed International Cuisine with Korean Infusion. As for the grand finale, 6 teams will be selected from preliminary round and the qualifying teams are required to prepare Sarawak Fusion Cuisine within the time frame given. Each group will be guided by an experienced mentor from the the University’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management throughout the competition. Briefing on the competition details were made prior to the competition days and arrangement had been made by the University for the participants to meet up with their respective mentors to discuss on the menu. 

Judges for the competition are Chef Azahari Aziz and Chef Mohamad Shahir Bin Haron. 

Being the Executive Chef of Riverside Majestic Hotel, Chef Azahari has over 20 years of culinary experience working with various international and local brand hotels such as Shangri-la, Marriot, Renaissance, Pan Pacific, Legend, Pullman, Four Points and Impiana. His culinary expertise includes local cuisine to international and modern gastronomy. Aside of his professional career, he has been involve as part time product chef for Buffalo Inc. and also in a number of cookery shows for local television channels such as Astro, TV3 and RTM2. He had been featured in several renowned magazines and newspaper such as Saji, Migguan Wanita and Nona. Apart from that, he has been actively taking part in judging culinary competition around Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kuching. 

Chef Mohamad Shahir Bin Haron, also known as “Chef Rey” is currently working as Pastry Chef at MAS Awana Services Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary company of Malaysia Airlines. Chef Rey had vast experience of 10 years as lecturer in education and specialised in Western and Eastern Cuisine, cake baking and decoration, fruits and vegetables carving as well as sculpture and ice carving. He is one of the Technical Advisor Committee (TAC) in Accreditation for Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN). Participating in various competitions, some of his excellent results are Medalist for Malaysia Culinaire and Penang International Saloon Gastronomique and winner of The Young Chef Challenge 2006 held by Chef Association of Malaysia. 

Judging criteria of the competition include taste, uniqueness, presentation and elaboration of their participating dishes. 

The main objective of this competition is to promote culinary skills and arts and highlight the global job prospects of the field. The University also hopes to instill the interest of cooking in the younger generation. 

Conducted alongside the competition were the first ever Korean Showcase by the students of UCSI University featuring activities such as traditional dance, face painting, a language booth, food and mocktail tasting, lucky draws and games, and the highlight: a flash mob. 

Among the sponsors of the event are Nestlé Malaysia, Plaza Merdeka, Sundrop Fruit Juices Bhd, Lee Fah Mee Sdn Bhd, Gamme Hair Supply, Hock Kui Development Sdn Bhd, Sweet Memory Stationery Shop, Blade Hair Salon, Rayoptics Centre, House of Yoga, Cloud 99 Ice Cream Café, Poh Lo Chew Development, Singapore Chicken Rice, Gawing Backyard Bar and HD Image. 

In line with the Korean government’s efforts in promoting culture, food and music around the world, UCSI University is proud to be selected as one of the leading education centers in South East Asia to generate awareness for this campaign. The Korean Showcase is part of the promoting campaign and it was organised by 41 students from its Hotel Management, Leisure Management and Culinary Arts programmes. 

For more information on the event and courses available in UCSI University Sarawak Campus, please call +6082 – 455 255 or log on to

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