Course Recommender

Goh Chun Siang

Plans for a Fusion Future
Student pursues passion for cooking with a Diploma in Culinary Arts.
I have always been interested in cooking and during my school holidays, I worked as a kitchen helper in hotels in Melaka,” says Goh Chun Siang. “The Head Chef at one of the hotels noticed my cooking skills as I was preparing the staff meal and encouraged me to check out Nilai University’s (Nilai U) Diploma in Culinary Arts programme.” The young lad didn’t hesitate and applied for a place as soon as he got his parents’ blessings. He says they were only too happy to support his decision as they know he has been very interested in cooking since an early age.
Chun Siang says he has always helped his mother in the kitchen as far back as he can remember. Having learned a number of traditional Chinese dishes from his mother, he says he would prepare a meal or two weekly to give his mother some respite. Having graduated from the Diploma in Culinary Arts programme, he believes that the quality of his meals have improved tremendously. “Given that I get no complaints from my parents or my two sisters about the taste of my dishes, I would like to think they are quite happy,” he laughs, adding that his favourite dish to serve his family is roast beef with red wine sauce.
However, he admits that his attempts at fusion have been less than successful. “I did try making the roast beef with a Chinese sweet and sour sauce. That didn’t work too well, and neither did the Kong Poh sauce,” he grimaces. Chun Siang feels that too many local diners are too conservative and do not make the effort to appreciate western or European cuisine. He hopes to open a fusion restaurant in the future which will tempt diners away from their comfort zone to try something new and adventurous. But it will have to wait as the young cook learns his trade whilst completing his internship at the Grand Hyatt in Singapore and for him to perfect his fusion recipes.
Having completed his Diploma in Culinary Arts, Chun Siang has already enrolled in Nilai U’s BA (Hons) in Hospitality and Business Management programme. “I believe it is important to get as many qualifications as you can as it is a very competitive environment. Also, having a degree will help me climb the career ladder. It is important that I continuously look for ways to improve my skills and to avoid stagnating,” he says. Chun Siang advices school-leavers who have a passion for food to check out Nilai U’s Diploma in Culinary Arts programme.
“The lecturers are very patient and are very passionate about food and cooking. They genuinely want to share their experience and to make you a better cook. Even if you think you are pretty good in the kitchen, like I did, there is still plenty to learn,” he explains. He points to the butchery classes as a great example of learning of new and essential skills. “Previously, I was clueless on how to cut poultry or beef. I now know how best to do this for different styles of cooking.” He also says theoretically, he learned many essential lessons on cost management, hygiene and basic accounting.
“Which other programme prepares you for an exciting career as well as the option to be your own boss. Plus you get to impress your family and friends with your handiwork,” exclaims Chun Siang.
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