Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge @ Young Chef Academy

Leggo's, now you must have heard of this brand before, touted to be the number one brand for authentic pasta sauces in Australia. Recently, under the mother company Simplot, Leggo's organized an interesting fun packed cooking competition for children, aptly named "Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge" for kids aged ten to fifteen. I had the opportunity to attend and watch these kids weave their magic. 

Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge @ Young Chef Academy
Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge @ Young Chef Academy



Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge 
Date: 30 March 2013 (Saturday)
Time: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Venue: Young Chefs® Academy
No. 5-3, Jalan 26/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6 010 225 2085

"Young Chefs Academy Malaysia, a cooking school created just for kids! We teach children as young as 3-years-old the joy of cooking in a kid friendly and safe environment. All classes are hands-on and the kids get to taste their creations at the end of class. They also learn safety, etiquette, math and science.... all while having fun!!"


The various Leggo's Pasta Bake Sauce used
The various Leggo's Pasta Bake Sauce used
Happy smiley faces of the young chefs participating in Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge
Happy smiley faces of the young chefs participating in Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge


Arriving at the venue on a Sunday afternoon, this time around, Janice, the mum and baby Martin tagged along just for the experience. Themed "Pasta Bake", the young participants whipped up scrumptious dishes using only Leggo's range of pasta bake sauces, namely the Ricotta & Spinach and Creamy Tomato & Mozarella flavours.


Janice and Baby Martin at the event
Janice and Baby Martin at the event


The cooking competition lasted for a good 1 hour and 30 minutes, to ensure the kids have enough time to prepare and cook their dishes. Sixteen talented kids from the Young Chefs Academy (YCA) participated that afternoon. There were two participants stationed at each cooking station, one to prepare the ingredients whereas the other was in charge of cooking. 


It was a wonderful sight watching these kids cook
It was a wonderful sight watching these kids cook


The panel of judges for Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge consisting of Chef Sarah from YCA, Saw Kok Kheng from Simplot and Sidney Kan from Culinary Association Malaysia were there to judge and evaluate each dish based on the five given criteria. Taste, Cleanliness, Teamwork, Presentation and Creativity were the order of how the kids were to be judged.


The panel of judges
The panel of judges


Interestingly, this time around the guests and members of the media were given the power to judge as well, contributing 20% to the final score through their votes. Yes, this meant I had a say as well on who got to walk away with the grand prize of RM1000. I was certainly amazed by what I witnessed that afternoon, as most of the dishes whipped up by the talented kids were remarkably good in presentation as well as taste. 


No pressure, even when things get heated up
No pressure, even when things get heated up


The outcome after the challenge ended, was a delight to watch as all their dishes were presented on the judging table. Check out below on some of the dishes I managed to snap below. It was an interesting mix of Pasta, Bread, Rice and Meat dishes.


Baked Cannelloni Pancakes
Baked Cannelloni Pancakes
The winning creation, Mini Pizza Pockets
The winning creation, Mini Pizza Pockets
Rice Casserole
Rice Casserole
Spanish Rice with Seafood
Spanish Rice with Seafood


Given a chance to cook, I don't think I am able to whip up what these kids did in 1.5 hours. It was amazing to say the least. The winners were announced shortly after the judging, and team number 4 consisting of Avinash Austin and Chow Qin Rhu won the 1st prize of RM1000 with their compact but delicious Mini Pizza Pockets.

Grinning from eye to eye, Avinash Austin and Chow Qin Rhu from the winning team said, “We are so happy to win this! We have been practicing for more than a week and are extremely elated to be announced as the winners!”


The top 3 winners for the day
The top 3 winners of the Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge


Brian Chen, Managing Partner of YCA said, “We are very happy to be collaborating with Leggo’s to come up with such an interesting competition for the kids. It has been a joyful process to teach and practice with them prior to this competition so that they can further hone their cooking skills.

Opened since 2011 in Malaysia, Young Chefs® Academy (YCA) is a unique culinary experience which offers cooking classes to children aged 3 to 17 in a safe environment that encourages discovery and creativity

Each visit to Young Chefs® Academy is a new experience with fresh monthly themes and exciting new programs. In addition, each class and event incorporates supplemental subject matter which ties into each theme. Their staffs consist of highly qualified teachers, chefs and nutritional experts to carry out their mission by providing an interactive learning experience that gives children the opportunity to develop a life-long love for the culinary arts.




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About Isaac Tan
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. My name is Isaac Tan and I cover mostly on lifestyle events with emphasis on happenings in Kuala Lumpur, food reviews, movies, tech and more. Subscribe to my feed and my facebook page. Do follow me on Twitter too at @isaactanjs , contact me via my email at isaac.tan@gmail.com

2 comments :

  1. those little kids are so cuteee!

    ReplyDelete
  2. In a few years, Martin can join the competition liao... ;)

    ReplyDelete

Always appreciate the comments. Thanks!