KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 ― Local chefs Yap Kean Chuan and Lau Hwei Min did the nation proud recently after they came in second at the Mondial Des Arts Sucres (International Confectionary Arts Competition) held in Paris recently.
Chef Yap Kean Chuan from the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia and chef Lau Hwei Min from Harold’s Academy were awarded with silver medals at the international pastry festival, proving once again that we as a nation are serious about our food.
The international pastry festival was held from February 3 to 6 and it involves 32 participants from all over the world with 16 mixed teams. These patisserie masters were evaluated by a team of 32 jurors and 40 commissioners formed by a vast majority of Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (M.O.F) titled chefs.
Known as one of the most difficult and sensational challenges in the pastry industry, each team is required to produce one sugar centrepiece, one choice centrepiece, an entremets, one travel cake, one plated dessert, three bonbons, and a pastillage centrepiece within 20 hours.
“Competing on an international stage with a limited time frame requires not only passion, but consistent training and preparation beforehand is simultaneously vital. 10 times of full rehearsal helped us to spot minuscule details, and we get better and better every time by taking these details into account. It’s exciting yet pressuring to represent Malaysia to compete in such a prestigious pastry competition, but I am glad that I have made it through,” shared Yap.
Founder and MD of Academy of Pastry Arts Chef Niklesh Sharma added: “I feel a deep sense of pride for Chef Kean Chuan on being awarded this token. Moreover, I take pride in his effort and the hard work he has put in to achieve this position. It is not every day that we come across chefs who are so passionate about their work. Competing at an international level is not an easy task. It takes a lot of perseverance, patience and determination to do this.”
This year’s theme was “French Luxury” and each team is required to pick a title from the proposed list and have all of their creations resonate with the idea. For the proud Malaysia team, they chose the elements of watches, jewellery and craftsmanship to display their admiration for the French’s devotion to luxury.
“From my past experiences in past competitions, most of the judges have encouraged us to create items we are most familiar with and confident in during the competition. Building the human sculpture is one skill I have been refining that resonates well with the theme, ‘craftsmanship’. The decision has certainly proven us right and we are grateful for that,” said Yap.