The Star Cruises Nasi Kandar Cooking Competition 2013, to be staged onboard SuperStar Libra from August 21 to 23, received enthusiastic response for both the Professional and Amateur categories.

Organizer Star Cruises has shortlisted 32 culinary talents including veteran chefs from prestigious hotels, restaurants, food and beverage outlets, as well as amateurs like apprentices, students, homemakers and aspiring cooks.
As a highlight of Genting Hong Kong’s 20th anniversary celebration, The Star Cruises Nasi Kandar Cooking Competition 2013 is endorsed by Penang State Tourism and supported by Chefs Association of Malaysia (Penang Chapter) and Malaysian Association of Hotels (Penang Chapter).
The competition has drawn many of Malaysia’s most talented chefs since its launch in July 2013. Sixteen participants from each category were chosen to compete in the preliminary rounds which will take place onboard SuperStar Libra on 21 August (Amateur Category) and 22 August (Professional Category) in front of the star-studded panel of judges and cruisers.

Pprofessional contestants are as follows:

•    Mr. Ismail bin Din, Chef Muslim Kitchen, Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La, Penang
•    Mr. Andrew Christien Gomez, 2ndCommis, Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La, Penang
•    Mr. Abd Majid bin Sulaiman, Senior Chef de Partie, Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya, Penang
•    Mr. Khalil bin Khazali, Demi Chef, Eastin Hotel, Penang
•    Mr. Mohd Fauzi bin Alias, Junior Sous Chef, Eastin Hotel, Penang
•    Mr. Masykur bin Saidin, Chef de Partie, Philea Resorts & Spa, Malacca
Ms. Nazlina Hussin, Proprietor cum Culinary Instructor, Nazlina Spice Station, Penang

Ms. Nazlina has been managing and teaching at Nazlina Spice Station, a cooking school in George Town, since June 2009. Ms. Hussin expertise is traditional Malaysian food. Other than through her own cooking classes, she also shares cooking tips on her website . Updates on the school’s activities can be found on her Facebook page: PenangCookingClass.
Mr. Lee Chan Wai, Group Chef, Spring Onion F&B Services Sdn Bhd, Penang

Fondly known as Chef Wai, he is the Chef, Owner and Food Service Consultant of top catering group Spring Onion F&B Services Sdn Bhd. Chef Wai has worked in many renowned local and international establishments including 5-Star hotels and resorts. An award-winning chef in his own right, Chef Wai is keen on exchanging ideas and techniques through international and local culinary competitions. He has showed off his skills in competitions in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Taiwan and China.
Mr, Thomas See Swee Heng, Chef, Honeywell Aerospace Avionics Sdn. Bhd, Seberang Perai, Penang

Chef Thomas See is a Consultant Chef for various organizations. Since 1995, he has been actively participating in various projects such as the Penang International Salon Gastronomique, the Penang Chefs Challenge and International Chefs Day. He had also represented the Chefs Association of Malaysia (Penang Chapter) for various Penang food promotions in China, Indonesia and different states in Malaysia. In his quest for excellence, Chef Thomas won a Silver Medal in the Asian Type Cooking Competition in the 1st Asia Culinary Challenge in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007 and Pattaya Thailand Culinary Challenge 2012. He has also judged numerous domestic cooking competitions.
Mr. Darren Tan Yeok Ping, Senior Lecturer, KDU College Penang

A graduate of IMI University Switzerland, KDU Penang's own celebrity chef Darren Tan brings a wealth of culinary experience from his days as Chef de Partie at Parkroyal Hotel Penang to KDU where he joined in 2005. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the college’s the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts. He has received international recognitions from events and competitions such as the International Food and Hospitality Show, International Vegetarian Culinary Competition, Pensonic Cooking Fiesta, Pattaya Culinary Cup, Thailand International Culinary Cup. In 2008, Chef Darren was also named Most Outstanding Chef of the Year by Chefs Association of Malaysia (Penang Chapter).
Mr. Jayaraj A/L Shanmugam, Owner cum Chef, Bountiful Kitchen Restaurant, Penang

Affectionately known as Chef Raj, the 38-year-old is passionate about cooking and has 19 years of culinary experience. He won the Best Malaysian National Black Box Team in the 1st Nestle Cup 2010 and first runner-up  in the International Penang Chefs Challenge 2010 (Professional Open Category). Chef Raj has previously worked in G Hotel Penang before recently starting his own Bountiful Kitchen. The restaurant at Jones Road, Pulau Tikus serves some of the best Northern Indian and Western fusion cuisines in Penang. His signature dishes include Salsa Salmon, Mexican Lamb Shank and Chicken Tikka Masala.
Mr. Hasbullah Abd Hamid, Assistant Chef, The Cruises Steak House, Penang

Mr. Hasbullah, 32, is the Assistant Chef of The Cruises Steak House with 10 years of culinary experience. Strategically located in the heart of George Town and tucked within the historically rich and restored Logan Heritage, the restaurant offers acclaimed dishes like Honey Smoke Chicken, Bombaystic Chicken and King Sausage with Cheese.
Mr. Ulaganathan A/L K.A.P. Ramasamy, Chief Cook, Kamalia Restaurant, Seberang Perai, Penang

Mr. Ulaganathan, 50, is the Chief Cook of Kamalia Restaurant. The veteran chef has 24 years of culinary experience gained from various restaurants in Penang, Terengganu, Sabah and Johor under his belt. The 30-year-old Kamalia Restaurant is based in Perai with the capability to host 100 people at a time. This is a hotspot for events and functions. Its signature dishes are curry fish head, mutton curry and crab curry.
Mr. Mohamad Rodi bin Abu Bakar, Chef, ini KARI lah @ d House of Curry, Penang

Mr. Mohamad Rodi, 34, is eager to sharpen his culinary skills in The Star Cruises Nasi Kandar Cooking Competition 2013, which will be his first competition in his 16-year career in food service. ini KARI lah @ d House of Curry, the restaurant he currently works for, offers various types of tasty curry dishes cooked to home-style perfection. Opened just this month, the restaurant is situated in Penang Spastic Center along Green Lane, Penang and offers a scrumptious array of items for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mr. Hamid Jafarulla bin Ahmad, Owner, Nasi Kandar Amna, Kuala Lumpur

Mr. Hamid has more than 20 years of experience in the Nasi Kandar business.  It started as a family business back in 1960s when his late father sold the Penang favourite at the KTM Station in Seremban. Opened in 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, his own food court sells a variety of Nasi Kandar, Nasi Briyani, Murtabak and other authentic Penang food made with traditional recipes. Mr. Hamid also provides catering service and performs cooking demonstrations.
From the 32 shortlisted contestants, 16 (eight from each category) will be selected by the judges to compete in the finals on 23 August for the ultimate prize which includes RM 5,000 in cash and luxury cruises.
The winners of The Star Cruises Nasi Kandar Cooking Competition 2013 will be invited to show off their talent onboard SuperStar Aquarius when the ship is on its seasonal deployment at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah starting 6 November 2013, as well as onboard SuperStar Virgo, which currently homeports in Singapore, when it calls in Penang.

Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medallion Awards will receive RM5,000, RM2,000 and RM1,000 cash prizes, SuperStar Gemini cruises and certificates. Whoever best captivates our passengers’ taste buds will win the Guests’ Choice Award to bring home a cash and cruise prize.