Malay-style chicken and prawn dishes win judges over in contest

(From left) Nur Fatin Syahirah and Nur Suhana with UFS channel marketing director Claire Sullivan and Nusrat.

FOOD operator Nur Fakhira Mohd Rosli, 27, is the winner of the 2017 Raja Kuah Knorr Challenge, a contest that aims to create greater appreciation for Malay gravy dishes.

Her creative entries, namely Udang Kari Kering, Masak Lemak Tempoyak Ayam and Ayam Kichap Szechuan, were clear favourites among judges, who were all chefs.

“I chose the three dishes because they are a wonderful fusion of Malay cuisine and other culinary delights which are different, tasty and easily managed within the 90 minutes set for us,” she said.

The judges were chef Mohd Johari Edris (better known as chef Jo), Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) chef Mohd Hadzrin Mohd Din, chef Budiman Bistari Mohamed and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Culinary Arts and Gastronomy Studies Centre head Dr Ahmad Esa Abdul Rahman.

Nur Fakhira, who is from Kuantan, was among 20 finalists chosen from more than 400 entries for the final round which was held at the UiTM Puncak Alam Campus in Kuala Selangor.

The grand prize reward was an umrah package for two persons worth RM25,000, RM15,000 cash and a hamper.

First runner-up Mohd Sharifudin Saleh, 47, from Melaka, walked away with RM10,000 cash and a hamper while second runner-up Zaleha Idris, 60, won RM6,000 and a hamper.

The remaining finalists received RM500 and a hamper each.

Following its introduction last year, the event organised by UFS continues to focus on gravy dishes which constitute up to 70% of the dishes served by Malay food operators, mainly as curry, soy sauce based gravy, turmeric with coconut and other spices.

UFS Malaysia managing director Nusrat Perveen said: “There is a growing trend of utilising chicken flavour to titillate the taste buds so UFS is acknowledging these culinary efforts using Knorr Chicken Powder.

“Today marks several achievements, the first being this special partnership with UiTM, one of Malaysia’s key centres of learning for culinary excellence, with Unilever Food Solutions because we believe being a good chef should start as early as possible, in this case, in the university.”

Forty students from UiTM Faculty of Hotel & Tourism Management also took part in the Ketupat Rendang Knorr Challenge, which was held concurrently at the venue.

Students Nur Fatin Syahirah Mohd Fisol and Nur Suhana Jamaluddin, both 21, won the top prize of RM200 cash and hampers with their rendition of rendang and ketupat palas.

“From the innovative Chefmanship Academy launched in 2013, which we have been working on with 12 cities and municipal authorities all over Malaysia, to today’s events here, UFS Malaysia has and will continue to set local standards which are acknowledged by our global network.

“UFS Malaysia continues to be at the forefront of the local food scene, lending its expertise and continuously innovating to provide the best of ingredients to our business partners and clientele,” Nusrat said.