A free-to-attend skills-enriching program for the next generation of chefs
Horizons is a mentorship program designed to inspire, advance, and broaden the horizons of the next generation of top chefs. For our 2023 programme, 12 hand-picked young chefs who had demonstrated commitment to their craft, were taken on a culinary journey around Malaysia. Their experiences included:
- A visit to Chocolate Concierge’s cocoa farm in Raub, practising multi-story forest regenerative cropping
- A visit to Natural Tropical Farm where Eric Ng grows most of the food for his free-range hens
- A visit to 180-year old French stem-ware and fine porcelain factory, Legle
- A series of masterclasses by the 2023 mentor chefs demonstrating a key flavour or technique they had mastered
The programme culminated with the 12 young chefs being split into groups then sourcing, preparing and cooking for Kita Food Festival’s Thank You Dinner; an invite-only event to thank the partners, chefs, collaborators and guardian angels who made Kita Food Festival 2023 possible. The catch: the Thank You Dinner was prepared using mainly proteins, vegetables and grains considered grade two or surplus; food often destined for landfill.
Mentor Chefs for 2023
To help them on their way, we enlisted the help of three Kuala Lumpur chefs to act as mentors. Each mentor brought a world of experiences and expertise to the table; encounters which further developed Horizon’s candidates’ perspectives.
Daniel Yap is the Patron/ Chef of GOODDAM, where he brings a fresh and innovative twist to Italian cuisine. He was trained at the prestigious ALMA culinary school in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, and has honed his skills at esteemed kitchens across Europe, including Ristorante Piccolo Lago and STUD!O in Denmark. While rooted in Italian cuisine, Daniel’s creativity knows no bounds. He blends local influences and ingredients with innovative techniques to create Modern Italian dishes like Calamari Squid Ink Pasta and duck neck sausage risotto.
Gary Anwar is the mastermind behind Ember, a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur that serves Modern Asian cuisine. Here he draws from his Chinese-Malay heritage to create dishes that are both innovative and delicious. Gary’s culinary approach emphasizes simplicity and quality products; letting the ingredients shine on their own. He honors traditional methods and techniques while infusing his own unique flair into each dish. But Gary’s commitment to excellence doesn’t stop there. He is also dedicated to sustainability and reducing waste, actively exploring innovative strategies to minimize waste and reduce Ember’s impact on the environment.
Haznizam Hamzah is the Executive Chef of the W Kuala Lumpur. Here he not only brings twenty years of hotel kitchen experience to the table, but a multicultural experience that included a long stint in Macau. At the W Kuala Lumpur, Haz oversees an array of kitchens, from Cantonese to banquet to the bar pool; a kaleidoscope of outlet styles that require focus and diligence. It’s at the all-day-diner Flock where he reverberates the hotel’s unique commitment to ethically sourced, locally grown ingredients; Flock was in the vanguard for establishing a genuine farm-to-table restaurant with direct producer-to-hotel supply chains in Kuala Lumpur.
W Kuala Lumpur
Horizons in 2022