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Myanmar Chefs Association invited for global WACS standard judging at Htoo Hotels Group – Culinary Hotel Group Competition at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel Yangon

Read time: 5 Min
Myanmar, 16th September 2014

Dick Knifes Germany – sponsors 2 valuable Knife Sets

Michel Mecca, Executive Chef at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel Yangon – Myanmar, gave us a call at end of July. His Chairman of Htoo Hotels Company heard well and good about the great success of the Myanmar Culinary Arts Challenge during Food & Hotel Myanmar in June 2014. Specially about the best arranged culinary competition by the Myanmar Chefs Association members. Inspired by the idea he asked his whole F&B and Hotel operation team of over 14 Hotels & Resorts to create an inter Hotel Chain Culinary Challenge , on Myanmar Traditional Cuisine to highlight, upgrade and maintain the quality of Myanmar Cuisine in all Hotels as well motivate his all chefs to create the Hotel Groups signature dishes. Than to further promote the Myanmar Traditional Cuisine signature dishes to promote the Hotel Group as well the richness of Myanmar Cuisine on a global culinary stage.

We quick came together at the Yangon s Kandawgyi Palace Hotel with Chef Michel and the whole organizing committee with Mrs. Shwe Mee, Ma Cherry, Ko Sein Win , Mr. Ho Kau Fai as F&B Group Director ( a former Shangri – La manager ) and many more.

Today morning, 11.9.2014 all was in an excellent – culinary world standard quality set up. From all 14 Aureum Resorts, Treasure Hotels and the special feature Hotels each sent 2 chefs , all in great looking corporate chefs uniforms, aprons with the theme of the day and excellent set up cooking stations for a three course Myanmar Traditional Myanmar menu. Pork Curry was the target and a soup and salad had to be created around also in Myanmar cuisine.

Excellent Cooking Stations – great for future Culinary Events

The cooking stations well to use for an international standard cooking competition, we heard we can use for further food competitions which is already great news for a generation of young chefs in Myanmar where competitions are just becoming very popular and valuable. This makes future big culinary events much more easy to plan in Myanmar.

Hygiene & Food Safety Standards were very high….

Mainly due to the all Hotels managements, Head Chefs and F&B the set up of each team was great from the beginning which resulted in very high hygiene standards and points. One could see clearly that all chefs worked very systematic and judging would focus mainly on the taste, texture and the combination of the three dishes taste.       

At new Lake Side Spa and Japan Restaurant Location

1,5 hours each team of two chefs had for cooking, 30 minutes were given for mise en place, cutting and cleaning at the production kitchen. The Competition took part in the lasts outlet of Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, the new Lake side SPA which will have also a Japanese top dining Restaurant to open soon.

Remember 20 years ago 1995 Myanmar s Tourism birth

Ko Sein Win introduced the event and highlighted the at World Chefs judging criteria again to the young chefs and on the bell was the competition started. Kandawgyi Palace Chefs looked good as they used a Japan Cuisine technique to control the fat of the Myanmar pork well…. by cooking it with a hand of rice first… the result gave them right, also a great charred Eggplant Salad they did and presented well. A dish I had eaten the first time in my live in 1995 exactly at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel back than myself the Executive Chef there with Andreas Vogt and in all Asia well known and legendary Mr. Juergen D. Voss leading the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel than as the first international standard Hotel and Cuisine in Myanmar – the beginning of modern Tourism to Myanmar, just 20 years ago.    

Than the time was up and very systematic and smooth all dishes were set up at the display table with their Hotel names, Chefs as well dishes name cards stand by,– again one must say absolutely professional arranged and easy to see that the great team around Ma Shwe Mee and Ma Cherry with, Mr Ho team & Chef Michel did a lot of thoughts to details.

The 5 Judges including 2 WACS approved and experienced culinary judges of MCA, a veteran and top specialist of Myanmar Cuisine U Ohn which is the owner of one of the best Myanmar Traditional Cuisine Restaurants in Myanmar and Ma Cherry and Groups Vice Chairman U Taw started the tour of 14 team, 42 dishes taste and texture but also product knowledge. Very hard to say as all chefs did a great job, one was better at the soup another team better at the salad and so many balanced out each other. Important to say no “MSG” Mono Sodium Glutamate was allowed to use as the organizing team stated to right Myanmar has best quality food products – no need for artificial taste enhancer.    

While everyone was busy counting together it became clear that the vast majority of judges had voted one Hotel as top winner and three more as runner up,- where by exact calculations the third award stood vacant as two hotels reached second place with same results.

A great signature dish for all Myanmar,- Acacia Leave Soup based on smoked Catfish

1st Prize and winner went to ” Nay Pyi Taw – Aureum Palace Chefs “

The Winning Menu

–  A great Acacia Leave Soup based on smoked Catfish – excellent full body flavor
–  A very good Marrow Leaves Salad, smooth and very balanced seasoned
–  A Red Pork Curry, very well cooked and at best taste
A 500 $ US bonus, two Gold Medals and the Award Trophy was welcomed by the Chefs
Chef – U Myo Tint  & Chef – U Min Chit Chit
MCA Chefs Michel Mecca and Oliver E Soe Thet handed over two ” German Professional Dick Knife sets ( worth of 400 $ US each ) in the name of Myanmar Chefs Association,- thank you here to Dick Professional Knifes for the sponsorship and support to young chefs of Myanmar.
The two 2nd Prize winner went to
” Popa Mountain Resort ” & ” Aureum Palace Inle Lake “
Chefs – U Mya Sein & U Bo Lin ( Popa )
Chef – U Aung Naing Tun & U Salai Zaw Lwin ( Inle )

Culinary Debriefing by culinary specialist U Ohn…..

U Ohn the specialist in Myanmar Traditional Cuisine gave the important and at WACS – World Chefs required debriefing to all Chefs,- as well hints and tips for future competitions to the young chefs,- for sure all great winner. After the group picture with all chefs, judges and committee – all participating Chefs were invited to one of the fine dining restaurants at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel – Yangon for lunch.  

Needless to say that here once again the Htoo Company of Hotels has jet again in Myanmar Tourism & Hospitality Industry set new standards,- here guiding for quality improvement through encouragement, incentives as culinary competitions for all staff of the group, – with a state of the art organization and set up of the whole competition, – best done without any other equipment provider, – excellent job we must say and future vision ,- hopeful we will see some of the many other Myanmar owned and managed Hotel & restaurant groups taking a look into such staff motivating and educating open eyes events and boost more Myanmar Chefs through culinary competitions and seeing what the other can do and I can learn 

Thank you in the name of all chefs in Myanmar – a true motivator to be a Chef in Myanmar,– to be a chef at a hotel of Htoo Group like Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, Aureum Palace Hotels & Resorts, or Myanmar Treasure Hotels.

A great idea by the chairman — a great success by the team and the Chefs, yours


Oliver E Soe Thet, Chief Judge at the Competition, President Myanmar Chefs Association

Global Board, World Chefs Without Borders , Yangon 11.9.2014


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