Workshop for budding chefs

Wong Liza in Kuala Lumpur/The Star

Kuala Lumpur (The Star/ANN) - Children today get to taste an array of good food, thanks to their urban and relatively affluent parents.

Before, what mum cooked was what the kids ate. Today, children are exposed to different cuisines at outlets like Italian, Japanese and Chinese restaurants," says celebrity chef Datuk Ismail Ahmad.

"Parents also allow their kids to explore the culinary world and play around with ingredients," he says.

Hence, baking and cooking form part of many children's activities these days. Gone is the stigma of the kitchen being a girl's playground.

"Parents know that the culinary arena is a good business and career to go into. There are long hours and one's family needs to be very understanding. If you go international, you may need to learn a new language and culture. However, the overall experience is very rewarding," he says.

No stranger to the world of cuisine, Ismail, 52, is co-owner of Restaurant Rebung Chef Ismail in Bangsar Park, Kuala Lumpur.

The Negri Sembilan-born chef has over 30 years' experience under his belt. Helping his grandmother in the kitchen when he was growing up sowed the first seeds of his career. Ismail also credits his grandfather for teaching him the art of choosing the best seafood when at the markets.

Having hosted various cooking shows for local television, the bubbly chef has also worked in France and the United States.

Ismail will be conducting The Kuntum Junior Chef Workshop 2012 to be held at Berjaya University College of Hospitality in Kuala Lumpur, on June 9.

At the workshop, he will share his expertise with the children on three recipes - Creamy Nestum Droplet Cookies, Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes and Crackers Pizza - and they will learn about the ingredients that go into the dishes, such as cereal, palm oil, vanilla, and others.

"The workshop will include a self-motivation session on why children should learn to prepare their own meals. They will know about different ingredients and their functions, various cooking methods, techniques and food texture. The kids will also be taught how to handle and store different utensils and ingredients," he says.

The workshop is free but on a first-come-first-served basis. It is limited to 30 kids and each selected participant can bring along a parent or guardian, who will assist them during the workshop.

The deadline to submit your registration form is May 15, 2012.