The Polytechnic West commercial cookery student teamed up with Kevin Senjaya and took the top gong at the international cooking competition in Hong Kong recently.
‘Knowing that we do not only fill our customers’ stomachs with satisfaction, but also their heart and soul gives me genuine happiness knowing I could achieve that,’ Mr Chong said.
Handpicked by lecturer Denis Boulet, the apprentice chefs competed against others from Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
With less than three weeks to prepare for the competition, Mr Chong said the long hours and late night training sessions paid off.
‘The competition involved cooking a three-course meal,’ he said.
‘We were given a market list and only the ingredients or items listed could be used for the competition.
‘Everything had to be made from scratch and we were given a time frame of three hours to complete all dishes.
‘We were judged by presentation and taste by a group of very experienced and well-known chefs in Hong Kong.
After three busy hours in the kitchen, Mr Senjaya said he could not believe that he had won.
‘Me and Leo were both happy and shocked at the same time,’ he said. ‘My mind just went blank and it took a while for it to sink in.’