Malaysian culinary heritage

18 Sep 2019 / 17:18 H.

In Malaysia, food has undoubtedly always brought people together. With such a multicultural society, local cuisine is derived from recipes that have been passed down each generation. To ensure that our food heritage is treasured, Berjaya University College (Berjaya UC) has put itself in the forefront in promoting local culinary masterpieces.

Since 2017, the Diploma in Heritage Cuisine programme has allowed students to learn the fundamental techniques, theories, halal food preparation and cultural influences that have brought Malaysian culinary delights to the world stage.

“Students understand the impact that the cuisine, native to the 13 states of Malaysia, has on the food, hospitality and tourism industries of the country,” said Berjaya UC Faculty of Culinary Arts director Federico Michieletto.

“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,” added Berjaya UC Faculty of Culinary Arts Programme head and chef lecturer Chef Hasri Hassan.

“The mixture of locally grown aromatic herbs, spices mixed with homemade pastes and coconut milk evokes memories of our forefathers’ cooking. The demand for Malaysian cuisine is there, but there are not enough specialists who can impart this artisanal skill.

“Through this programme, we create a documentation of recipes and traditional cooking styles that can be handed down to the students who will become excellent curators of Malaysian heritage cuisine. Whether it is through traditional cooking or the re-creation of dishes through modern innovation, these are our traditional culinary masterpieces; this is our heritage,” Hasri concluded.

In an increasingly globalised society, Malaysian cuisine in all its forms must adapt to the demands of the modern world, using contemporary techniques. The Diploma in Heritage Cuisine programme functions to achieve this, by providing students with the necessary skills to not only preserve the cultural traditions of each dish, but to also experiment.

The students of the programme will be equipped with the techniques needed to transform them into international culinary experts, while being taught to maintain the tradition and historical authenticity of local favourites.

As the September intake is now in progress, Berjaya UC students will also find themselves being mentored on communication skills, leadership, and teamwork during entrepreneurship challenges. - by Mark Mathen Victor

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