Interview with Dk. Quamarina Hayati

Dk. Quamarina Hayati Pg. Kemarudin

Apprenticeship Professional Cookery & Services Course
Class of 2014

Tell us why you chose to do this course?
As a young girl I discovered that I really enjoyed cooking. And it was my neighbour, an elderly lady with no children of her own, who took me under her wing and taught me how to cook many Malay dishes. When I was 10 years old she taught me how to make my first dish of curry puffs. This lady inspired me to continue learning more about different cooking techniques.

What have you gained from your experience at IBTE?
Firstly, IBTE provided me with a supportive environment that encouraged me to learn more about cooking and to develop my skills. I gained a great deal of knowledge about food preparation and the importance of food presentation from my instructors who were specialists in different aspects of cooking. For instance, Cikgu Mumtazah taught me about modern cuisine and our Head of Department, Cikgu Kamarul provided support and inspiration. The practical experience I gained during my two year course was also invaluable. Cooking students at IBTE were given the chance to manage our own restaurant and I learnt about every aspect of this business from menus to management; and from food to finance.

Secondly, besides in-school training, I had the opportunity to get work experience at The Empire Hotel. While there, I refined my practical skills and gained more knowledge about food presentation and service. For example, I learnt the art of Silver service; and while at the food stations I gained more confidence because I had to interact with guests from all over the world. And finally, at IBTE I participated in a three day cooking competition in Hanoi, Vietnam. This was a great experience for me because I had to create my own menu of specialised dishes and compete against other students from around the region. With the guidance and support of my instructors Cikgu Rohana and Cikgu Fatmah I am happy to say that I won the Bronze Medal. Overall, my experience at IBTE has really helped me to appreciate all types of cooking and to understand the importance of paying attention to the details of food preparation and presentation.

How do you intend to use your skills in the future and what advice would you give to other students?
I would like to continue studying and maybe do a Degree in Culinary Arts. Then I would like to gain some international experience and either join IBTE as an instructor or open my own restaurant. I would say to other students that you can definitely increase your knowledge at IBTE because the experienced instructors, facilities and equipment are all there – but you must be prepared to work hard to achieve your goal.

This article was published in the IBTE Special Issue (Oct-Dec 2015) of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!