If the Michelin Star is awarded by reviews of the dining community, the Bocuse d’OR is considered the keenest contest as the evaluation comes from the sharp eyes and tastes of professional chefs. Held once in two years, it brings 24 young chefs from all over the world and in 5 hours and 35 minutes, to prepare a variety of dishes, live, to be judged by some of the most illustrious chefs in the world. A brainchild of Paul Bocuse in 1987, it is today THE platform for chefs to prove their mettle. Since 2007, the concept of pre-selection according to regions were introduced which include Bocuse d'Or Europe, Bocuse d'Or Latin America and Bocuse d'Or Asia-Pacific.
In an effor t to unear th local talent and give them the oppo tunity to learn from chefs all over the world, the Bocuse d'Or Academy Malaysia was launched in 2013. The nonprofit academy is in collaboration with Berjaya University College of Hospitality as the latter aims to promote and improve the perception of a career in culinary arts through educational internships, job placements and opening doors to professional culinary associations. Funds are raised for the Academy through activities such as culinary short courses and dinners featuring award-winning Chefs.
In the short time since its inception, it sent the country's first representative to 2015's competition. Kenneth Loke's bronze medal in Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific Selection qualified
him for a spot at the grand final in Lyon. Chef Federico Michieletto, President of Bocuse d’Or Academy Malaysia (Director of Culinary Ar ts and Affairs, Marini’s on 57) and Chef Jochen Kern,Promotion Manager of Bocuse d’Or Academy Malaysia (Director of Culinary Arts, BERJAYA UCH) said, “We are thrilled on being awarded the Bronze medal at the Asia Pacific competition. We are honoured on getting this recognition from the judges, most of who are respected Chefs in their own right”.
By registering for an annual membership, students of culinary arts gain exclusive access to seminars and workshops with world-class chefs for a different learning curve that supplement textbook learning, said Berjaya UCH chief operating officer Mae Ho. As Chef Jochen said; the mark of a competent chef is having the know-how and creativity to adapt ingredients and cooking style in any situation - a skill that no books can teach an individual.