From left to right, chef instructor Jie (Jay) Wen, Kevin Soo, Justin Lu, and chef instructor Barry Tsang.
Stacked against elite chefs from over 30 different countries, VCC Asian Culinary Arts International grads Kevin Soo and Justin Lu claimed gold last month at the 4th annual World Master Chefs Competition for Cantonese Cuisine (WMCCCC) held in Kuching, Malaysia.
This comes after months of training under the guidance and mentorship of VCC instructors Chef Barry Tsang and Chef Jie Wen. When it came down to show time, Justin and Kevin had only 60 minutes to develop, execute, and present five identical dishes to a jury that scrutinized every detail before awarding the prestigious title to the winners.
Participants were allowed to bring five ingredients from their home country. The duo won the entrée category for their ‘Sweet potato, white flower and snow’ dish consisting of carrot, chicken and shrimp paste wrapped in a fluffy taro shell.
“The experience was unforgettable and one of a kind,” says Kevin Soo. “Cooking competitions are a very valuable and an important part of an education for chefs.”
Indeed, this event not only provided the pair with the opportunity to work with acclaimed chefs locally and internationally, but also gain exposure to their methods and critical thinking skills.
Despite having to spend over 30 hours on travel time to compete, Kevin and Justin found this championship a reward in and of itself.
“The competition gives us a chance to practice being flexible, and practice time management, self-management and teamwork skills,” says Kevin. “It allows us to express our own creativity, build confidence, and master self-discipline.”
VCC has had medal finishes in past WMCCCC competitions, with this being the first year Kevin and Justin have brought back gold. Previously, in 2019, alumnae Doris Lau and Joey Zhou won bronze in the dim sum category, while Tristan Toderan and Dylan Viray earned silver in the entrée category in 2017.
The VCC Asian Culinary Arts program is the only one of its kind in all of Canada. It is unique in that students learn to prepare different styles of cuisine including Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Korean and Chinese, so they can be readily employable in the real world. What’s more, everything is made from scratch, from wonton wrappers to the stuffing, from taro shell to the sauce.
Elevate your experience in Asian cuisine. Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art commercial kitchens and learn more about the program.
Learn more about the opportunity of studying Asian Culinary Arts Certificate program as an international student at VCC!