What your Italian appetite at KDU’s School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts The

KDU Chef Lecturer Mohd Maharis Mamat (2nd from left) with his students, delightfully presenting their Italian cuisine after a two-hour practical class in the state-of-the-arts culinary facilities at KDU University College, Utropolis, Glenmarie.  KDU Chef Lecturer Mohd Maharis Mamat, who is also a Master Chef in Italian Culinary, demonstrating his sheer professionalism of Italian cookery.  Daniel Yap Chuin Sien (right) with his coursemates Ahmad Azfar and Gladelyn at ALMA, situated in Colorno, Italy, which is housed inside a venerable 18th century castle. 
The popularity of Italian cuisine in the global food industry is immense, so much so, it has gone beyond the definition of ethnic food in Italy and has become widely accepted by food lovers around the world. People do not mind paying hefty amounts to try out authentic Italian cuisine, with food connoisseurs even ready to travel miles away just to satisfy their Italian appetite. 

In light of the steady demand on high quality Italian cuisine, as well as the fast-growing pace of Italian restaurants in Malaysia and worldwide, the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (SHTCA) in KDU University College (KDU) has specially designed the third area of specialisation, Italian Cuisine, in its home-grown Bachelor of Culinary Management (Hons) programme to reflect this. 

SHTCA has illustriously stood out as the one and only school in Malaysia offering and teaching Italian Cuisine, as an area of specialisation. This achievement is based on strong ties established between SHTCA and the Italian Trade Commission, and ultimately tying up with ALMA La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana, the world’s leading educational and training centre for Italian cuisine. Upon graduation, students will receive their parchment from KDU University College and a certificate from ALMA, which is a value-added recognition to their future career path.

ALMA, situated in Parma, Italy, is housed in a venerable 18th century castle, with state -of-the-arts facilities and classrooms. As the world’s top educator and trainer for Italian cuisine, ALMA educates chefs and sommeliers from all around the world, forming professionals of Italian cuisine with training programmes at the highest level, executed by world’s leading teachers. KDU’s SHTCA, with 28 years of experience as an excellent hospitality and culinary arts education provider, is ALMA’s one and only educational partner in Malaysia. 

The Italian Cuisine specialisation in KDU’s Bachelor of Culinary Management (Hons), is the natural choice for those who have a passion for classical epicurean experience of the Mediterranean. Through KDU-ALMA’s strategic partnership, this specialisation gives you familiarity with Italian produce and products, as well as original and regional recipes from Italy and a deeper appreciation of its gastronomic traditions and culture. 

Students who embark on this degree programme, specialising in Italian Cuisine, will complete a semester in ALMA, Italy. This duration consists of 2 months of classes and 5 months of on-the-job training at leading restaurants in Italy. 

“Every week, ALMA guest chefs from all over Italy will conduct a demo session of their regional cuisine. The industrial training will take place in any region of Italy. ALMA chefs will determine where the student will be placed for their on-the-job training, based on their performance in the classes, some students could be placed in Michelin star restaurants,” Head of SHTCA, Ms Kitty Lee Kit Eng explained. 

“ALMA has very strong connections with upscale modern and traditional restaurants. Our first and second batch of students have had great experiences during their training at Michelin-star restaurants in Italy,” Lee continued.

Daniel Yap Chuin Sien, a 2nd year student of the Bachelor Culinary Management (Hons) in Italian Cuisine, has experienced a memorable 7-month study life in ALMA, Italy. He is currently back at KDU University College, completing his study for his remaining credits. 

Sharing his wonderful experience, Yap recalled, “During my industrial training, I had my stage at a Michelin-star restaurant Piccolo Lago, in Piemonte, a northern region of Italy. This was when my Italian language skills improved tremendously, as naturally, Italian is the main language in the kitchen. I have learnt a lot of new regional products and picked up new cooking techniques.” 

He continued, “Besides training in the kitchen, I travelled during my off-days and when the restaurant was closed for winter holidays. I went to different cities and regions of Italy, as well as other European countries, which allowed me to understand better about the European culture, gastronomy and people.”

Besides the Italian Cuisine specialisation for undergraduates, the KDU-ALMA partnership also train KDU lecturers under the Master Chef Certification, a professional programme on teaching and delivery of culinary practical classes for KDU lecturers.

Up to date, there are seven chef lecturers in KDU that have completed the Master Chef Certification programme, and have been awarded the Certificate of Master Chef in Culinary Pedagogy. Last year, one of our chef lecturers—Chef Mohd Maharis Mamat, was sent to ALMA for a 2-month training in teaching and conducting the Italian Cuisine classes. Apart from expertise provided by ALMA, assessment done in KDU are by certified Master Chefs in Italian Cuisine,” added Lee. 

Lee also said that graduates of this specialisation enjoy remarkable career prospects as Italian restaurants, especially those serving authentic Italian cuisine, are growing at a fast pace in Malaysia and worldwide. “If a student performed excellently during their practical in Italy, he or she may be offered a tenure by the restaurant’s chef, and we’re proud to say, one of our students have received that opportunity,” Lee concluded. 

KDU University College and KDU College will be having its Open Day on 22 and 23 August, from 10am – 5pm, at both the Utropolis Glenmarie and Damansara Jaya campuses. To find out how you can hit the ground running with KDU, log on to www.kdu.edu.my or call 03-5565 0538 (KDU University College, Utropolis, Glenmarie) / 03-7953 6688 (KDU College, Damansara Jaya).
Media enquiries : Jocelyn Loke Mei Foong Marketing Communications Manager KDU University College

Telephone : +603 5565 0506

Email : mf.loke@kdu.edu.my