When it comes to inspiration for good food, many would sing the praises of great chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver or Marco Pierre White. But Mohamad Firman Ghazali believes nothing beats his mother’s cooking.
“My mum is an amazing cook. There’s a saying that goes: A mother’s touch lasts forever, even after she’s long gone,” says Firman, the youngest of four siblings.
Born in Subang Jaya, Selangor, 20-year-old Firman says his mum definitely influences and inspires him, especially when it comes to food.
Armed with a Diplome de Commis Cuisiner from the Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Art at Sunway University, Firman is now a full-time instructor and trainer at the ABC Cooking Studio – a leading Japanese cooking school since 1985 – in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
Firman not only graduated with Honours, but while attending the Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Art he also won the Perfect Attendance Award in 2016, and Top 3 Best Performance in 2015 and 2016.
An interest in cooking didn’t start early, though, Firman admits. “Sadly, I never helped out in the kitchen nor cooked any dishes until I joined the culinary course. I wish I had started earlier.”
Prior to joining the ABC Cooking Studio, he worked as a chef at Troika Sky Dining for over a year. “Troika is well known for their food and services, so to be part of the team made me feel proud of my achievements.
“How did I end up at the ABC Cooking Studio? I was discovered by their agent through jobsites, and ABC Cooking Studio offered me a position so I joined them in 2016,” says Firman, who is the only trainer at this school for the Malaysian team.
Professionally trained by Michelin star chefs, Firman says he finds “baking therapeutic while cooking is just exciting. Doing what I do lets me enjoy the best of both worlds.
“Food to me is happiness, and I’m a big eater. I’ve always loved Malaysian food for its variety and bursting flavours. With food from different races, it’s just amazing how the various flavours complement one another without overpowering each other.”
As an instructor and trainer, Firman trains the staff up to the standard and quality set by the company.
“I also conduct lessons for the members (clients) of ABC Cooking Studio, and test or create recipes based on the needs. What I love most about my job is the opportunity to learn new things every day, which helps me grow. The toughest thing is definitely dealing with different types of people every day!” he says.
Firman feels that his job is rewarding “when members of the ABC Cooking Studio enjoy their time at the studio and I see them leave with a bright smile – that makes my day”!
“For anyone who wants a career in this line of work, patience comes in handy while passion will drive you forward. You need to be calm to be able to control your emotions regardless of the situation.”
When he’s not working, he usually hits the gym. “Since I’m a big food lover, I need to work out and keep in shape. I also love spending time with my family and friends.”
Firman admits that he’s always been a workaholic since young and once he sets his goals he would do whatever it takes to achieve them.
“I think the goals and mindset that you have, drive you to be a better version of yourself. Remember, life is not a race, it’s a journey,” he says.
“I intend to launch my own brand in the near future and, hopefully, globalise it.”