ADV: A Day In The Life Of A KDU Hospitality Student

A few weeks ago, this was what the LDP highway looked like.


Notice anything different? No?

Just the usual traffic jam?

Wait, let’s zoom in a little closer.




Okay, that was actually a little publicity stunt by KDU College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts. The school was holding an open day last month and I was invited to be one of their special guests.


What does blogging have anything to do with hospitality? I don’t know.

Maybe they think is not hospitable enough, that’s why they decided to send me in for training.

It was certainly an honour to be invited onto their campus nonetheless. I had the chance to meet with several prospective students and had a chat with them during the Open Day.

Some of them were wondering whether or not hospitality and culinary is the correct career choice for them, especially since it’s not one of those “Parent Approved Career Choices” like Engineering or Business.

Personally I’d like to think of it this way. Everyone’s going into engineering or business and not all of them end up with jobs they wanted. But people are always gonna eat, and people are always gonna travel.

Flip open the newspapers and you’ll see thousands of vacancies in the services industry looking for people who have “a hospitable attitude” and can provide “good customer service”.

The hospitality, tourism and culinary industries are always gonna expand. People in it are always gonna be in demand.

The job security is there. If you are well-trained and possess the qualifications, it’s not hard to get a job upon graduation.

KDU College’s partner university is in Switzerland and students receive actual Swiss qualification upon graduation.

I was given a taste of what being a student there is like when I was asked to try my hands on cooking in one of their many professional kitchens.

To complete the look, the college was nice enough to even present me with my very own custom-made chef uniform.

Not bad for someone whose signature dish was 2-minute instant noodles.

So please, welcome to my restaurant.

Unfortunately, I cannot possibly cook anything on my own.

Luckily the college has kindly arranged their Culinary Arts lecturer and celebrity Chef Zam to show me the how.

We’ll be making and cooking pasta, and we’ll do that hopefully without burning the entire KDU College down to ashes.

To make pasta from scratch, first of all, you’ll need an egg, a bowl of flour and  permission from Chef Zam to make an absolute mess.

Start by mixing up an egg and pour it into the bowl of flour.

After some grabbing, mixing, kneading, and generally pulverizing the crap out of that  mixture, I end up with a yellow sticky ball of dough, like this.

It ain’t fun eating pasta shaped like a ball, so I send my dough to this pasta-making machine to flatten it out.

You gotta be careful with this machine though.

Because if not…

… accidents may happen!

And you may end up with a flattened (but delicious) hand.

After cutting it up into little strips of fettuccini (the pasta, not the hand), avoid the temptation of holding it up against your chin and do a horrible impersonation of Dumbledore.

“Hello, Harry Potter.”

Afterwards, it’s all up to Chef Zam to work his magic on the stove and cook the pasta al dente.

A couple of minutes later, dinner is ready to be served.

Behold, the Pasta a la Kenny Sia. (I totally made up that name.)

Surprisingly, it’s actually very very good!

In fact, Pasta a la Kenny Sia tastes like something straight out from Italiannies that costs RM19.99 + 10% service charge + 5% government tax.

Do You Smell What The Blog Is Cooking?

It was a fun experience making pasta, cooking pasta and most importantly, eating pasta.

After the stint in the kitchen, I bid farewell to Chef Zam before seeing what else the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts has to offer

The KDU College students were cooking up a storm.

Much to my surprise, there’s a full-fledged cocktail bar inside one of their training restaurants!

Kids these days. How often can you boast about eating pasta and drinking alcohol as part of your coursework?

When I did Engineering, the most exciting thing in my coursework was solving complex differential equations in my Calculus class. Something that I never even got to use later in life!

Later on, I joined Chef Kenneth Kam and his students for a mooncake-making session.

It involves slipping a latex glove onto my hand as if I were going for a rectal examination. That’s when I found out I’m not very good with latex. Because my gloves broke, twice.

I think it must be because I’ve got big hands.

And you know what they say about men with big hands?

They need big gloves.

Making mooncakes involves pressing the sticky dough into a wooden mould to give it the distinct mooncake shape.

Whatever you do, do not play with the wooden mould as if it’s a martial arts weapon.

You never know if there’s an angmoh behind you thinking you’re a total idiot.




The July intake for the School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts is now open and all info are available on their website.

Blog Plug of the Day: Niki Cheong is a Star journalist, blogger and a friend I’ve known for close to 8 years.

He’s one of my mates from way back when I was heavily involved in student politics at university in Perth, and never would I have expected that our paths would regularly cross again when we returned to Malaysia. Niki’s old blog was one of few that inspired me to start, so here I am returning the favour by featuring him as my Blog Plug of the Day!

75 Replies to “ADV: A Day In The Life Of A KDU Hospitality Student”

  1. Complete idiot. Start doing something worthwhile…not something that some idiot thinks pay…come on kenny you know more than that.

  2. That angmoh in the picture behind u is actually a german chef. He was my lecturer and he did a good job. Btw, I never really thought that you’re that short in person and sometimes i do laugh a little when i see that picture i took with you. haha. no offence tho.

  3. “And you know what they say about men with big hands?”

  4. Kenny, I know you are a good cook and also a good Malaysian. And I know you are also very unhappy with the current 1 BN government. So please do something to help Beng Hock to find the truth behind the mysterious murder case. Say ‘NO’ to the corrupted MACC and dirty BN! The entire Malaysia will thank you! Blessed you!

  5. i’m taking the hosputality course in ktar kampar but i am impressed with what kdu has to offer, hope ktar can upgrade or i might have to move colleges and i would hate that lol

  6. I have been a silent reader all these while but would like to make a light comment on your latest post. I was also an engineering student and now doing my doctorate in it (wtf, how nerdy!). I will never use any complex differential calculus stuff like you IRL but you need to realise that it has indirectly improved the problem solving and analytical skill of one. Maths is all about that. So never think doing calculus or maths is pure waste of time! Cheers!

  7. Lol! U look really cool in the Chef uniform!! =) Its really funny when u said smth bout the Ang Moh behind u thinking that you’re an idiot..hahah!

  8. Al dente refers to boiling leh. Why Kenny talking about it in pan frying? People use Al Dente for fun most of the time without knowing what it actually means. Kenny sama sama hahahaha

  9. I saw the coverage of this event in The Star twice already! The second one is in today’s paper I think. Wonder why they have to publish it twice..

  10. Lol. Life in KDU becomes more fun with Kenny Sia around. I’m very sure life in a real kitchen isn’t as fun. Real chefs look miserable as a toad and they’d really chop your fingers if you misbehave =p. Try reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. That’s a real insight.

  11. al dente is an adjective usually used to describe pastas that have been cooked til firm or not too soft nor too hard when its chewed. its actually an italian term which means “to the tooth / bite”
    so it doesnt matter really if u boil, pan fry, saute or whatever method. al dente got nothing to do with the cooking method, again as i said, it’s just an adjective to describe.
    you too, find out more about it first before ‘flaming’ others 🙂

  12. now i’m thinking of taking up cooking/baking class. i normally cook at home, but i just need to perfect my culinary skills. totally like you in the chef outfit, very professional like.

  13. Er.. i found an interesting point on ur blog, which is Hospitality carrer is not a “parent approve choice” . I totally agreed with U. As most of the ppl think this carrer is not as good as Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer….. But i wonder how many Doctor, Lawyer and Engineer u need in the market??? Hospitality line is challenging especially if you work in a operation department;where u need to work base on shift and you also need to work when your frens or family celebrating X’Mas, New Year….
    However, for those youngster who dislike admit work, who hv lots of energy and love challenging work, i bet you hospitality is the BEST choice for U:)

  14. ahaha i drive that stretch everyday and i didn’t even see the banner.. i occasionally get to try out KDU’s food before competitions.. it’s awesome stuff

  15. I’m pretty sure the applicants for the sch’s intake this year will bust the application system! haha it makes me want to apply for it! ;P

  16. Well-done! I’m sure you can cook from the short stint at the school.
    After all, if you can put together a blog such as this (a successful one to boot!), I’m sure you can follow recipes with eyes closed! 🙂

  17. I agree with PrincessJ.
    Why become a lawyer/doctor/engineer when you can become a chef like Gordon Ramsay or Nigella Lawson?
    There’s a lot of famous celebrity chefs in the world, and I never heard of a celebrity doctor/lawyer/engineer at all, except for Dr Phil.

  18. Hey, Uncle Kenny went to KDU college? Can come to my University,too? Its Universiti Sains Malaysia, hospital based in Kubang kerian, Kelantan?. We are having Borneo night, wanna be our special guest? I believe your fans will pass out when they see you in person, especially me!!!!

  19. The ahmo is mr gerhard..and yes i’m sure what going through his head is what you said..
    chef zam is “friendly” right. ;D~~
    sadly i wasnt there because it was a saturday….damn…~

  20. Hey dude, great writeup, you put in lots of thought and effort to make the post flow like a breeze yet still carry the signature comedy sketch.

  21. Heya kenny! looking pretty chef-y there..kenny can cook! haha.
    btw i’m the guy at the terry fox run, and blogger karnival running blog 101. nice meeting u in person dude.

  22. Hey Kenny, You met my long lost lecturer, do you have his number? or email or anything like that ? If you do can you email it to me? I have been trying to contact him for the longest time,
    if you do have his contact or anything like that tell him Isaac from DIP 4 is looking for him ! I was surprise you were from KDU ! small world ! but i think i graduated before you, Old man liao la me ! but seriously, I do hope you can get intouch with him for me.

  23. Omgosh Kenny….
    Your mouth is so WIDE opened when you almost flattened your hand… So I think the rat can enter your big mouth..
    Hehehe, ok dont be mad at me. I was just kidding.
    It’s good that u learned how to cook, to prepare you before you start dating… 😛

  24. -__________-;;
    al dente means to cook the pasta till its ALMOST cooked……
    of cos need boil the pasta… impossible u make the dough n roll it out den straight away goreng??
    U boil it half cooked so that when u fry it,it will be fully cooked instead of soggy if you boil it till its fully cooked..
    “People use Al Dente for fun most of the time without knowing what it actually means. Kenny sama sama hahahaha”
    you also dun know dun simply tembak him la … ;D

  25. apuu… u seriously make me laughh… just read tis post and apuu..
    ‘You never know if there’s an angmoh behind you thinking you’re a total idiot….’
    ‘And you know what they say about men with big hands?….’
    ‘Do You Smell What The Blog Is Cooking?..’
    apuu!! u just made my day lah! thanks! 🙂

  26. If u smelllllllalaaalallaallaalalalalalaalaalalaalaaallalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuu..!!! … … What the Ken!!! … … Is… Cookin’??

  27. kdu mau duit saja.
    boring la tat college.
    hospitality looks so much fun but then everyday got class..sien.
    business is soooo boring, once fail they’ll make u fail again..then hv to pay.. walau, waste money..

  28. Hi, I liked the way you have narrated your experience at the Open day of KDU College. Specially the part of adding some of those funny pictures. Its a good way of bringing everyone together and learn at the Open day, one gets lots of opportunities and exposure too.

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