Course Recommender

Nicholas Jason Cox

Tantalising Taste of Success
Student benefits from real culinary arts industry experience in Nilai U
Nicholas Jason Cox highly resembles Chef Gordon Ramsay in these key attributes – fiery passion, invincible disciplinary and meticulous nature. ‘Perfection on every plate’ is the ground code which the former, a Diploma in Culinary Arts student in Nilai University (Nilai U) shares with the latter, a world-renowned Michelin-star fine-dining restaurant owner. “Gordon is an epitome of a great cook and a leader at the same time. Although he is recognised as the ferocious character on TV, his fervour in culinary is undeniable which also goes for me,” smiles, on the contrary of his idol chef, the soft-spoken Sarawakian.
 
The former SMK Chung Hua, Miri student had discovered his infatuation towards culinary arts since young. “Apart from cooking shows, I am captivated watching my mother cooks and how she never fails to tantalise our taste buds,” said the 20-year old who hails from Miri, Sarawak. “That’s when I voluntarily help her out with the dishes or stirring up soup or peeling garlic. Naturally I developed a passion towards cooking. So when I came across Nilai U’s culinary arts programme, I signed up without any hesitation,” he adds. Nicholas’ brother is currently undergoing on-the-job training in Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering also in Nilai U. This has entitled him the sibling tuition fee waiver offered by the university.
 
Nicholas, one of the finalists of the Culinary Arts Awards certainly made the right decision. The programme he enrolled in gives him opportunities to enter various culinary activities and competitions. “The early phase of the training gives me a stun as it was the first time I had to prepare multiple courses alone. But thanks to the intensive training, I have immensely honed my skills. I dare to say I am capable of working more efficiently now,” he explains. His training included a 7-hour practice session daily for two months in the on-campus Flamme Restaurant in Nilai U’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. His lecturer-student relationship with his mentor, Chef Zaid Abdul Razak, has turned more to a father-son relationship throughout this training. “We spend the long hours whetting my cooking skills. For culinary arts, the answer is not strictly speaking direct from books. An uttermost valuable lesson Chef Zaid has taught me is to be an innovative, critical thinker when preparing a dish. He always encourages me to share my ideas for new recipes.”
 
His varsity involvement does not stop there. Nicholas was one of the finalists in bartendering category for the Monin Cup 2012 and was a participant in the innovative tourism competition held during the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Conference 2012. Although he admitted that the pressure being in a competition is sometimes overwhelming, he realises that by the end of each competition, he will crave for more challenges. Moreover, he is also part of the current Nilai U’s Students’ Representative Council as well as the president of the university’s Hospitality Society. To top it all, he still manages to put a strong remark on his proactive profile by keeping a CGPA of 3.64. “It is an amazing part of my campus life, and I enjoy them very much.”
 
The culinary arts programme allows its students to experience both theoretical and practical element of this field. They are given the opportunity to run the operating Flamme Restaurant with the surveillance of the school’s staffs.  “This is the platform where we get the real feel of running a restaurant. We also learn more than just preparing meal courses. Being part of Flamme, we broaden our knowledge about the management part as well as the silver services to name a few,” says Nicholas. Nilai U provides wide range of platform for students to enhance their skills to become highly sought-after graduates and also prides on being one of the most picturesque higher institutions in Malaysia, in the suburb Putra Nilai. “I like the fact that the campus is very close to nature. Our community is very friendly and the lecturers from the School of Hospitality & Tourism are definitely some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my life,” smiles Nicholas.
 
Nilai U’s School of Hospitality & Tourism also offers Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Business and Hospitality Management, Diploma in Hotel Management and Diploma in Tourism Management. Other schools are Business, Allied Health Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Foundation Studies, and Engineering, Science and Technology. Scholarships and financial aids are available. For more information, please go to www.nilai.edu.my or call  06-8502308 / 07-2262336.
 
 
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