KDU Interview Session - Culinary Industry

Last week I went to KDU University College, Petaling Jaya Campus at Damansara Jaya for an interview session with lecturers and students from the School of Hospitality, Toursim & Culinary Arts.

The interview was conducted at Cafe 87, a cafe in KDU which is run by some of the final year students. Lecturers that attended the interview session were Fami Taufeq bin Fakaruddin (Culinary Programme Leader / Sous Chef), Mohd Maharis bin Mamat (Chef Lecturer) and Chef Gerhard and students Leon, Ling Kar Weng & Kwong Chiew Kent.

Mohd Maharis bin Mamat, Chef Lecturer explained to us that KDUhas  started their partnership with IMI Switzerland from the very beginning back in 1997 and they are very much confident the partnership since it is pretty much a mirror program, which means whatever courses offered in IMI Switzerland, it will also be offered in KDU.

The School of Hospitality, Toursim & Culinary Arts in KDU offers IMI Diploma in Culinary Arts, IMI Diploma in Professional Chef Training, IMI Higher Diploma in European Culinary Management, IMI Bachelor of Arts (3+0) in International Hotel & Tourism Management, Bachelor of Culinary Management (Hons) in Culinary Operations, Bachelor of Culinary Management (Hons) in Baking and Pastry and Bachelor of Culinary Management (Hons) Italian Culinary.

When asked why IMI Switzerland is chosen to be a partner, Fami Taufeq, KBU's Culinary Programme Leader said,"IMI Switzerland is one of the top Culinary education institute. IMI is one of the best known Swiss Hotel Schools offering a double degree programme, which students can enter at different levels. All programmes including our MBA programme in Hospitality are validated by Manchester Metropolitan University, one of the top 10 providers of Hospitality Programmes in the UK".

Mohd Maharis added,"Everything is in-house at IMI Switzerland where they actually provide accommodation for international students and it's the same case for international students in KDU. There are some hostel facilities in Kota Damansara and buses for them to make their way for classes in KDU.

We asked the students, what are their passion or dreams and why they choose this course.
Student Leon, replied that he wants to open a hotel in Europe and Ling Kar Weng wants to open a restaurant. Most of them answered that it is their interest in cooking and the art of the presentation that make their customers to be happy and satisfied with the results.

At the very beginning, the students will learn about basic baking and 60-70% of the classes are practical classes. On the 2nd year, they will learn more on culinary art and food carving. All the students will undergo industrial training for 6 months in any of the program. Some of the final year student will run the Cafe 87 and monitored by the chef lecturer. They will also learn about molecular cuisine which food science plays an important role in the course and lastly they will learn French cuisine.

At the moment, they can choose to learn German or French language but Italian language will soon to be available since there is Italian cuisine in their courses.

Chef Gerhard jokingly tease the students by telling us to ask them how punctual they are when it comes to class attendance and assignments. The students said that there are different semester with different slots that affect the students to be on time or not. Chef Gerhard added, the passion on the classes will also affect their performances. If they like a particular subject, they will be willing to attend their classes on time without any excuses.

We also asked the lecturer what they think about the reality tv show such as Top Chef, Master Chef, Hell's Kitchen and etc. Chef Gerhard strongly discourage his students and their parents not to be influenced by this kind of shows where they do not show their professionalism in those tv programmes where as the real fact that a person need to have good ethics especially in the kitchen while dealing with their colleagues or superior. The students will also be taught to handle all the equipments professionally.

I asked the students about what are their parents' response where we need to work even on a public holiday and festive season. Student Ling Kar Weng said that,"His parents need to be very understanding due to the work hazard and they had to sacrifice holiday not being able to celebrate it with their family member but the job satisfaction gives them more than what they wanted which is to see customer enjoy the food, passion, compassion will be happy to work during festive season.

There are 2-3 practical classroom exposure for students who did not know what course to take. The management will take their personal particular and follow up the potential students. From time to time, KDU will conduct a day to meet the parents. All the academic advisor, lecturer will discuss with them together with the students.

For SPM or O-level graduate, they will start their courses on year one while students who have already had a diploma in culinary management can immediately start in year 2 for the MBA course.

In 1997, KDU College became the first educational institution that could offer prestigious Swiss qualifications to its students, without the need to go abroad. Students can now obtain Swiss diplomas, degrees, and masters locally, although many do opt to go abroad and spend some semesters in Switzerland, the country that is widely regarded as the "birthplace of hospitality", at IMI University Centre, Luzern.

After the interview session adjourned, we were set for lunch in Cafe 87.

We had Chicken Bolognese Spaghetti.

Eclair (RM2.50) for dessert.

First time meeting Lumi from sesamechestnut.com

Through out the year, you will receive CHF 6.000 waiver when you register for any of the programmes listed below:-

For more information about the courses offered by the School of Hospitality, Toursim & Culinary Arts in KDU, check out their website at http://www.kdu.edu.my/programmes/culinary.html

.: Peace Out :.