The cut of a champion

THE NORWEGIAN Seafood Council (NSC) recently celebrated the outstanding performance of two Malaysian sushi chefs at the World Sushi Cup 2018 which took place in Tokyo, Japan this August.

Chef Sky Tai Koon Siang took home the World Sushi Cup 2018 champion title, while chef Steve Chua Kok Hua was one of the finalists.

Both participants benefited from the Global Sushi Academy training, an initiative sponsored by the NSC in collaboration with World Sushi Skills Institute, the only officially recognised sushi body in Japan.

The training aims at educating sushi chefs on the traditional art of sushi making and most importantly, the hygienic handling of raw seafood for consumption.

Tai emerged as the winner for the Traditional Edomae Sushi category, as well as for the Creative Sushi category with his Malaysia-themed creation, giving him the overall highest score to emerge as champion.

Both Tai and Chua trained under renowned sushi chef Hirotoshi Ogawa from Japan.

Ogawa, who was one of the judges at the World Sushi Cup 2018, said: “I'm proud to have trained both of them and have high hopes for them to spread their knowledge and experience in preserving the sushi-making tradition, especially on the food safety aspect.”

NSC regional director (Southeast Asia) Jon Erik Steenslid added: “As Norwegian salmon is the preferred choice for sushi topping in Malaysia, it is important to NSC that the fresh raw ingredient is handled in the most hygienic manner.”

Tai, who is from Kluang in Johor, is the head chef at Standing Sushi Bar in Singapore, where he oversees five sushi outlets.

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He first took part in the World Cup Sushi in 2015. On his second effort in 2016, he emerged as the first runner-up.

Now he has bagged the top prize.

Chef Chua runs Two Chefs Lab in Sungai Long, Kuala Lumpur, together with fellow chef Edmund Chong.

The outlet offers fusion Japanese cuisine and coffee culture.

This was his first attempt at competing in the World Sushi Cup.

Started in 2013, World Sushi Cup is an annual event to contribute to the development of sushi skills round the world and create awareness on the proper and hygienic way to prepare sushi.

The event is endorsed by Japan's Ministry of Agriculture and the All Japan Sushi Association World Sushi Skills Institute.