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Cooking with Crew Skills graduates in Ipoh

Some time back, I had a call from Mr Suresh Subramanian, the CEO of Crew Skills based in Ipoh if I was interested to share our kind of Malaysian cuisine.

I happily said yes as I believe our graduates in hospitality should know our own cuisine. I know I can only share my old fashion style of cooking. Of course they are willing to learn if anyone teaches. But my concern is how serious will they be able to stay true to our taste and flavor. I am from the old school of eating where taste is more important then presentation.

With that in mind, Chandra and I drove to Ipoh. I hardly travelled within our own states so given the opportunity to drive to Ipoh was fun all the way. We arrived Ipoh, checked in the hotel and went around searching for lunch. It was nice but dinner was superb. Mr Suresh and Garry Prior the director insist Ipoh has better food then Penang.

For us, happiness is eating so we totally left it to the locals to entertain us with their selections. It was pretty good.


Next morning, Chef Bala (the lecturer) picked us from the hotel to Crew Skills.  I was introduced to the graduates. I was then briefed by Chef Anthony Raj (the lecturer), Mr Suresh himself with Mr Garry.

My role was to demonstrate some Nyonya dishes on the 1st day and hopefully on the 2nd day, they will be replicate what they have learned from the 1st day. Boy, aren’t they serious, they asked thousand and one questions and I love their enthusiam and interest.  As I demontrated what I think would be easy for them, I must say they caught on fast.

The next day came with them cooking and we have lunch. Their excitement and joyfulness is happiness for me. I watched them in silence seeing them discuss with each other and teasing one another. I did see they put to practice what was taugtht and we had a great meal. I love their food presentation skills.

I was told by Chef Anthony some of the graduates have participated and won awards in culinary events. I am so pleased to note after graduating, they will received 3 certificates and job opportunites for them.

  1. Australian Professional Chef Certificate 3 & 4 in Commercial Cookery – Western (Australian Qualification Framework) awarded by Culinary Solutions Australia;
  2. Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking (Supervision) awarded by City & Guilds Institute of UK; and World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS)
  3. Professional Chef and Chef de Partie certificates (international kitchen passport)

Crew skills is dedicated to equiped their graduates well and I was also told next year, they are the first school in Malaysia to offer authentic Japanese cuisine training (two-year programme), awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.

Then the graduates gets to go to Japan. I like that our youngster gets such great opportunities after graduation. oooh, by the way, the lunch they cooked was loved by all of us. By the way, read this article by Ipoh Echo here.


I do wish to the our youngster being awarded well for their efforts and more culinary schools teaches local cuisine, to arm them in the future. But for me, it will be so good if they asked their mums to teach them, that is the best isn’t it?



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