Sunway University School of Hospitality Head Chef Patrick Siau, led the Malaysia National Pastry Team to its first ever victory at the World Pastry Cup in Lyon, France on Jan 28 resulting in the Malaysia National Anthem ‘Negaraku’ being played for the first time at a World Pastry Cup championship, an ‘Oscar’ equivalent for the pastry chefs of the world.
The team which include chefs Tan Wei Loon and Loi Ming Ai of the Academy of Pastry Arts; and Otto Tay of Dobla Asia, beat 20 other teams from around the globe to become the world champion.
At the World Pastry Cup 2019, for the first time in history, the dessert presented on a plate had to be 100% vegan. Teams had 10 hours to produce three chocolate desserts of Grand Cru Valrhona, three frozen fruit desserts from the Ravifruit range, 15 identical desserts on plate and three artistic creations made of sugar, chocolate and an artistic piece craved out of hydric ice. Other additional challenges for this year included a chocolate dessert with a biscuit made of honey (in support of bees) and at least one transparent item in blown sugar.
In line with the competition’s common theme of Nature, Flora and Fauna, the Malaysia National Pastry Team named their creations ‘Sound of Nature’. The team’s chocolate dessert named ‘La Nature’ was inspired by the lotus leaf while the flavours of their frozen fruit dessert ‘La Papillon’ which featured a butterfly on a flower was inspired by Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan. For their plated dessert ‘La Floraison’, the team incorporated the pomelo, Ipoh’s famous fruit which was presented in a cup-form made of Granita. The Malaysia team also received the Vase de Sevres prize, a prize donated by the President of the French Republic which is awarded to the country that scored the most points for the Tasting.
Capturing the judges’ attention was the team’s artistic creation showcasing meticulously crafted monkeys dressed like Elvis with the King’s iconic pompadour made of isomalt sugar and chocolate.
Chef Patrick said, “We were overwhelmed with pride and joy when the ’Negaraku’ was played to the spectators at the World Pastry Cup and those watching live around the world. It truly showcased our spirit of Malaysia Boleh! We would like to thank the management team at Sunway University especially those at the School of Hospitality, all our sponsors and everyone who have wholeheartedly supported us. Thank you.”
Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University, said: “I am absolutely delighted by this achievement by the Malaysia team led by our very own expert Chef Patrick Siau. This is due recognition of the world class ability of Patrick and of the excellence of the culinary education at Sunway University. We are all very proud of what he has achieved and of the glory he has brought to the nation.”
Chef Patrick Siau, who led the team was appointed by the Professional Culinaire Association as Team Coach for the Asian Pastry Cup 2018. He had previously participated in the Asian Pastry Cup 2010 and the World Pastry Cup in 2011 as the Malaysia National Pastry Team Captain.
Chefs Patrick, Tan and Otto won the 2018 Asian Pastry Cup (APC) in Singapore last year. As well as being Asia’s pastry champions, they also won an award for the ‘Best Display’, indicating their artistic talent, imaginative sensibilities and creative abilities.
The APC, cited as the largest ‘live’ pastry competition in Asia is the most spectacular and highly accredited competition in its category and serves as the official pre-selection platform for the World Pastry Cup.
Chef Chong Wei Tzeh and Chef Soon Pau Poon, Teaching Fellows at the School of Hospitality, and Queeny Cheong, the team’s promotion manager and alumna of the School of Hospitality, Sunway University accompanied the Malaysia National Pastry Team to Lyon.
In the months prior to the competition, the School of Hospitality at Sunway University actively came together and organised several initiatives to help raise funds for the team’s trip to France. The initiatives included an ‘African Safari’ themed dinner and ‘A Night in Paris’ dinner by Karen Lui, Senior Teaching Fellow; Pastry Workshops by Chef Patrick; a Wine Workshop by Dr Daniel Chong; and a Master Pastry Class Workshop by the National Pastry Team.
Among those who supported the luncheon and dinner initiatives were various departments under the Sunway Education Group, Sunway Travel and Sunway Group.