GEORGE TOWN: Two Penang-based chefs have come up tops in the 2017 World Master Chef Competition for Cantonese Cuisine held in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Gary Lim Lee Sheng and Jason Lim Soon Ming won the Cantonese Cuisine Master Chef title and the “Gold Medal” award, beating 160 other teams from 44 countries.
Their winning dish, “garoupa fish with fish bone gravy”, was judged the best, beating the local entries.
In a press conference with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today, the duo explained how their unique dish was prepared.
Soon Ming, 25, who is a banquet chef at the G Hotel on Gurney Drive, said a 70g garoupa fish is cut into a square and placed in a wok with “cold oil”, which is oil that has not yet been heated up.
“We then ignite the burner, raising the temperature carefully from 60 degrees Celsius to 80 degrees.
“This way, we maintain the juices of the fish,” he said.
Soon Ming, who is originally from Sungai Petani, Kedah, has participated in 10 different competitions before but said this was the first time he had won such an award.
He said he had been offered a chef’s position at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Singapore and would move there next month.
Soon Ming’s partner, 27-year-old Lee Sheng, said winning the award meant a lot to him as he had been a chef since he was 18.
The Paya Terubong, Air Itam, native said he was surprised to have won the award, adding that the win was “one for Malaysia”.
Lee Sheng currently works as a chef at a restaurant in his hometown.
Earlier, Guan Eng presented the duo with RM800 cash each and a certificate in recognition of their achievements.
“It is amazing that a Hokkien and a Teochew chef won a Cantonese food award. We are very proud of them,” Guan Eng said.