Sunday 29 September 2019

Culinaire Malaysia 2019

Making the cut

September 28, 2019

Chefs getting ready for the Golden Bull Culinary Competition
My Best Friend and I hurried down the stairs to Hall 5 of KL Convention Centre, where the biennial Culinaire Malaysia 2019 was being held in conjunction with the 15th edition of FHM on 24-27 September, 2019.
As soon as we stepped inside, we could hear muted but excited buzzing punctuated with wild cheering from the stage area where the Mixology Challenge was in full swing.
MBF and I were headed for the Golden Bull Culinary Competition. We heard that 9 teams were taking part, including teams from Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, China, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. The champion wins a gold trophy and cash prize of RM6,888 while Silver and Bronze winners walk away with RM5,888 and RM3,888 respectively as well as trophies.
At the Culinaire Malaysia 2019 dinner on Friday evening, the winners were announced. The champion was Doubletree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, with second and third places going to Brunei Catering and China.
The Golden Bull Culinary Competition is owned by MLA (Meat & Livestock Australia) and features the versatility of Australian beef and lamb for Asian and Western cuisine.
The MLA booth at Culinaire Malaysia 2019
Cooking demonstration at the MLA booth
But first, a quick pit stop at the MLA booth near the entrance; actually, we just let our noses lead the way after we caught the aroma of meat on the grill. Beef and lamb from newcomers Murray Pure and Thomas Food from South Australia, were on display in chillers, with huge wall posters on the various cuts as well as recipe/guide booklets and samplings for visitors. Murray Pure, Thomas Foods and Stanbroke also sponsored the meat products for the competition as well as for the Iron Butcher Challenge.
The panel of judges in deep discussion
The morning session of the Golden Bull Culinary Competition was wrapping up and judges were huddled together in conference in the Judges’ Room. We walked around to check out some of the dishes participants presented.
While we didn’t get to taste the food, the creative presentation and aroma were impressive. Asian and Western cooking styles came together in elegant dishes.
The Brunei team which won First Runner-Up
We spied dishes such as marble beef striploin with potato mushroom, glazed baby carrot and beef jus, grilled beef striploin with Thai e-sam sauce, served with sticky rice ball and stirfry beef eggplant, lamb chump cabbage ball, spicy & sour soup with pickle cherry tomato crispy rice sheet and lemon gel.
Coron sauce beef and white curry beef
Malaysian lamb satay, stirfried beef, lamb grilled with potato and nasi impit
Grilled lamb chump with crispy Papaya Salad and Tamarind Gel
There were also grilled lamb chump with crispy papaya salad and tamarind gel, lamb satay, stirfried beef and nasi impit with lamb grilled and potato, panfried beef with pulut and masak lemak gravy from one of the Malaysian teams.
Crispy beef with white sesame and chilli powder and morels stuffed with lamb
Fried lamb with crispy almonds and Steamed Beef with Mongolian Onion
Panfried beef with pulut and masak lemak gravy
Marble beef striploin with potato mushroom, pea flanc, glazed baby carrot and beef jus
Fried lamb with crispy almond (left) and steamed beef with Mongolian onion
The afternoon session teams came up with equally interesting dishes, including lamb kofta, Coron sauce beef and white curry beef, herbal lamb soup, fried lamb with crispy almond and steamed beef with Mongolian onion, crispy beef with white sesame and chilli powder and morels stuffed with lamb.
One thing for sure, the judges had their work cut out for them and it would be a close race to the Gold Trophy.

Iron Butcher Challenge participant boning leg of lamb
Leg of lamb deboned and prepped for cooking
In the centre of the hall, tables were set up for afternoon session of MLA’s Iron Butcher Challenge; 21 participants would sharpen their knives and tap on their knowledge of meat and muscle to win the prestigious title and walk away with cash prizes.
Participant Wan Amirul Hisham
Mohd Arif Miskintar
Mohd Taufiq Hakimie
The chefs were given 1.5 hours to cut and portion beef and lamb into a variety of cuts for different cooking methods. We watched as chefs Mohd Fauzan Abdul Rahman, Mohd Arif Miskintar, Wan Amirul Hisham, Mohd Taufiq Hakimie and Nureffendy sweated as they worked under the watchful eyes of the judges and audience.
The judges going around to check on the final butchering work
When the time was up, the judges went from table to table to check on the work as well as offer tips and advice. The judges gave marks for good hygiene practices, cost effectiveness, cleanliness of work station, presentation, ideas for value-adding (marinating), cuts applicable to food service, minimising wastage, preparing and boning of carcass. 
One of the judges, Chef Ludwig Gaisbaeur, explained: “Some pieces of meat have 2 or 3 muscles separated by connective tissue so chefs should know where to find these and how best to do the separation.
Display of finished work for judges to mark
“Competitors are also judged on whether they have sharp knives, clean work stations, good hygiene practice, preparation and boning… such as how their skill in boning a leg of lamb. As for wastage, we check as we go around to see the participants work.”
Murray Pure and Thomas Foods sponsored the meat for the challenge 
The beef and lamb for the MLA Iron Butcher Chef Challenge were sponsored by Stanbroke, Murray Pure and Thomas Foods.

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