“Be yourself and most importantly, cook with your heart. Instead of putting too many things on the plate, make sure that it is well-cooked and tastes wonderful,” said chef Cedric Bourassin.
Bourassin leads Le Berceau des Sens of the Swiss hospitality management school Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL), the first training restaurant to have a Michelin star in the world.
Taylor’s University recently welcomed EHL to hold a three-day masterclass in collaboration with the Taylor’s Culinary Institute, which served to provide students with international and industry exposure.
Featuring Bourassin, Benjamin Thouvenin and Jeremy Plassat of EHL, the programme culminated in a culinary showcase which provided guests with a seven-course fine dining experience.
Bourassin said this exchange could widen the students’ perspective.
“It’s good to open your mind by gaining knowledge from all over the world. Everyone learns during the masterclass. Coming from different cultures, I get to teach and learn from the students at the same time.”
The Michelin-starred chef saw the potential for Taylor’s students to bring Malaysian cuisine further.
“We recreated French recipes with local Malaysian fish and vegetables. This is a very important goal to achieve — using fresh local produce.
“While working in Japan, I used French techniques with Japanese ingredients. Similarly, students here can achieve something very interesting. Malaysia offers a variety of cuisine from Malay, Chinese to Indian and more.
“By mastering both the local fare and learning French cuisine, the students’ creativity can lead to fusion delights.”
Heading the only training restaurant in the world with a Michelin star, he said that the title is a testament of their excellence.
“Our priority at EHL is the students, who we train to become future managers. The most important thing is to teach them with customers around as the patrons have high expectations,” said Bourassin.
Taylor’s Culinary Institute director chef Frederic Raymond Paul Cerchi highlighted the importance of gaining experience to excel as culinary students.
“In order for students to grow, they need experience. Instead of the usual routine work, this masterclass provides students with the golden opportunity to learn from top Michelin starred chefs, which excites them.
“They are expected to apply the knowledge and techniques they have learnt in the culinary showcase.”
Apart from dinner events, Taylor’s Culinary Institute annually sends students for internship placements at renowned Michelin-starred restaurants around the world.
These restaurants include Les Freres Ibarboure, Bras Le Suquet, Restaurante Martin Berasategui and Osteria Francescana.
Having taught at Taylor’s University for 13 years, Cerchi said it was a big achievement for a Malaysian culinary institution.
“We are the only school in Malaysia to send so many of our students to intern at Michelin starred restaurants. That’s an added value in terms of experience for our students.
“To strengthen our focus on practical skills,
we have plans to open a restaurant similar to
EHL’s Le Berceau des Sens. We would like to give students the exposure of what it is like to run a professional kitchen and gastronomic services,” said Cerchi.
The culinary showcase was prepared by the chefs alongside 46 Taylor’s Advanced Diploma in Patisserie and Gastronomic Cuisine students.
Taylor’s Culinary Institute student Darrel Matthew Tedjajadi, 19 said that the showcase was a great learning experience.
“I learnt a lot, but the most important takeaway was professionalism. Having Michelin starred chefs and manager here in Taylor’s University taught me how to serve the guests in a more professional manner.”
Fellow student Amir Syamim Shah Jehan, 21 said: “Being in a Culinary Arts based programme, we are not really used to handling the front office or the service area. For the culinary showcase, we had the opportunity to be head waiters.
“Throughout the dinner service, we learnt new ways to serve food and great techniques. For example, we learnt the clear, call out, place and check (CCPC) technique.”
During the summer, Darrel underwent his internship at La Barbacane in France while Amir Syamim interned at Restaurante Martin Berasategui in Spain.
“I learnt how the real industry works. I also gained more independence as at a Michelin starred restaurant, we had to focus on our own stations and handle the products on our own. I’m really grateful to be able to go to La Barbacane,” said Darrel.
For Amir, he gained leadership skills.
“The restaurant was managed by mostly interns apart from the head chefs.They taught us how to lead certain stations in the kitchen.
“Once the other interns leave, I had to take over their place. The experience really prepared us mentally and physically for our future career.”
Taking part in the culinary showcase held at the university’s Thyme and Tarragon Restaurant in Subang Jaya were Taylor’s University chefs Aaron Tang, Jeremy Charlier and Jules Barboyon.