Teamwork is important in a kitchen, says Malaysian chef

Teamwork is important in a kitchen, says Malaysian chef

I was born in Malaysia. I didn’t pursue culinary when I was in college, but I was a part-time waiter at a hotel. 

During my time there, my interest in cooking spiked. I joined the hotel as a part-time cook, and gradually, I gained experience in western cuisine. Slowly, I also started learning other cuisines including Malay and Chinese. That’s how my journey in the culinary world started.

I also went on to get a diploma in the subject, which helped me a lot in my journey. I knew that I always wanted to pursue cooking. Traditional Malaysian food, which is known for its richness of spices, is what I specialise in. I try to add a twist by creating a fusion based on the authentic dishes. I try to infuse an orangish or lemon flavour in my dishes.

I joined Le Meridien (Kuala Lumpur) in 2006 and have also travelled across countries like Japan, Vietnam and India to promote Malaysian cuisine. In my 30-year long career, I have met a lot of people; their different level of knowledge amuses me. I learnt to be patient and honest with myself and my work. Another crucial thing that I learnt is teamwork. It is important that we work as a team, as one man can’t run the kitchen.

What is interesting about this cuisine is that the dishes and the style of cooking is different in each region of the country. I present to you a Malaysian lunch staple ‘Labu Masak Lemak’, pumpkin cooked in creamy coconut gravy.


Recipe: Labu Masak Lemak

Labu Masak Lemak


- Pumpkin, 700gm

- Onion blended, 100gm

- Garlic blend, 30gm

- Coconut cream, 120ml 

- Water, 30ml 


- Clean the pumpkin and peel the skin and cut it to wedges and boil it.

- Heat oil on a pan. Stir fry the onion and garlic blend until it turns golden brown.

- Add coconut cream to the blend. Let it boil and add 1 cup of water.

- Add the pumpkin wedges to the mixture, and sprinkle the required amount of salt and sugar.

- Serve with fried piece of onion on top.


Chef Ramu, Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia