KUALA LUMPUR: BERJAYA University College (BERJAYA UC) has been in the forefront of promoting Malaysia’s culinary masterpieces by offering the Diploma in Heritage Cuisine (N/811/4/0245) (01/20) (MQA/PA 4914). Being one of the pioneer University College to offer this programme, students learn the fundamental techniques, theories, halal food preparation and cultural influences that has brought these Malaysian culinary masterpieces to the world stage. Hence, students also learn to understand the impact that the cuisine native to the 13 states of Malaysia has on the food, hospitality and tourism industries. The programme has a range of courses that includes Malaysian Ethnic Cuisine, Menu Planning and Development, Food and Beverage Cost Control, Aseana Cuisine, Heritage Cuisine Research and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development.
In Malaysia, the appreciation for the culinary arts goes beyond the mainstream. With its unique multicultural society, the food we enjoy today is a uniting factor that draws people together not just during festive holidays but also in smaller gatherings with family and friends.
Mae Ho, Executive Director / CEO of Berjaya Higher Education, Sdn Bhd has been unwavering in the promotion of Malaysian Heritage Cuisine. “When one says masterpieces, your thought immediately goes to museums and contemporary art. Here at BERJAYA UC, masterpieces refer to the culinary works of art that has been handed down through generations. It is important that students understand the traditional cooking styles and how a mixture of coconut milk with locally grown aromatic herbs and spices grounded in a traditional mortar and pestle forms the basic paste used in most dishes. I know I am not alone in the appreciation of our culinary delights. We have hosted our share of international visitors such as the Worldchefs Board of Directors, members of the ALLIANCE by Institut Paul Bocuse and ERASMUS+ collaboration partners and local agencies such as the Ministry of Education and DBKL (Big Kitchen Festival): all have them have been feted with an array of our heritage dishes and all have raved about it. We also have worked with celebrity chefs Ili Sulaiman, Nadia Lim, Diana Chan, Sherson Lian and Malcolm Go, to name a few. All have been passionate to bring our local dishes to the world stage. Even Gordon Ramsay dropped by for the Nasi Lemak Challenge.
“Other countries may claim the Peranakan cuisine belongs to them, however, no one can dispute the fact that the Baba and Nyonya community settled down in Malacca (Melaka) which is a Malaysian state.”
“In an increasingly-globalised society, the programme aims to provide students with the necessary skills to not only preserve the cultural traditions of each dish, but to also experiment using modern technology while preserving the authenticity of local favourites. The University College offers these heritage dishes for lunch at Upper East Side Café at reasonable prices. The Café is open on weekdays and act as a teaching restaurant for both our Culinary and Hospitality school students.”
“The University College advocates experiential learning, which forms a part of BERJAYA Immersion Methodology. No cost is spared in sending our students to competitions around the world to give them proper exposure, thus empowering students to develop not only their mental capability but also their soft skills. Just recently, our students competed in the 6th Penang International Halal Chef Challenge last March 1-3, 2019, showcasing their culinary skills to a panel of renowned judges.
“We engage the students not only to learn the theories but also create documentation that can be handed down to the succeeding generations. These skills teaches our students to become culinary ambassadors of Malaysian Heritage Cuisine and curators of our culinary heritage,” Ho added.