A dream come true for local chef

Rokiah Mahmud

After embarking on a career at Iron Chef Sdn Bhd in August this year, Muhammad Ali Chin bin Abdullah is the first Bruneian to be awarded the Iron Chef Apprenticeship Scheme.

He will undergo intensive training for three years as a Teppanyaki chef under guidance of Executive Chef Marcus Ma.

Muhammad Ali Chin must perform and meet certain criteria to be a certified Sushi and Teppanyaki chef. Muhammad Ali Chin said when he first started with Iron Chef, he did not expect dealing with Japanese cuisine to be easy.

The challenges and hardship were worth it as he received a chance to undergo the apprenticeship programme offered by restaurant. The opportunity helped him learn how to blend ingredients, use proper utensils, and showcase his talent in live cooking demonstrations. “With Chef Marcus Ma’s guidance, I learnt basic recipes. Chef Marcus Ma guides me with the dishes I cook. I loved cooking since I was a kid. My family often goes to the Japanese restaurants in the country.

“I used to watch the chefs demonstrating their skills on Teppanyaki grills. During my academic years, I struggled in my studies. I never thought that I could earn an opportunity like this. This will help my career,” he said with gratitude.

Grilled cod fish cooked by Executive Chef Marcus Ma. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR
Chef Marcus Ma and Muhammad Ali Chin bin Abdullah along with another staff at Iron Chef Sdn Bhd

Muhammad Ali Chin said that he will take things one at a time.

“I want to focus on what I’m doing at the moment, to be a certified Sushi and Teppanyaki chef. Success comes with hard work; I burnt my arm when I accidently slipped my hand on the hot surface of the Teppanyaki grill.

“That is an experience I will never forget. That wil not make me give-up. I don’t want that pain to influence my dream or to let myself down. I keep moving towards my goal. I often told myself that this career is for my family.”

Muhammad Ali Chin said to be a Teppanyaki chef is not easy.

“We need to be precise with every single thing. When you cook in front of customers there is no room for mistakes. Diners will watch what you are doing. We need to keep the momentum.” He advised youth to invest a lot of time, hard work and sweats. “If you can do that, you will accomplish your dream,” he said. Upon completing the three-years scheme, Muhamad Ali Chin will receive a bonus payout and continue his career at Iron Chef.

Iron Chef encourages more local chefs to specialise in Teppanyaki cooking to develop their career locally and internationaly.

As a wholly-owned Brunei Company, Iron Chef believes in providing jobs to locals to support the Brunei Government’s initiative.