Kuching-born chef makes Sarawak proud, named among Asia’s top female pastry chefs by Michelin Guide

Michelle Goh

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, March 13: Michelle Goh, a Kuching-born pastry chef who has been enamoured with cooking since she was a teenager, has made Sarawak proud by being named one of Asia’s top female pastry chefs by the Michelin Guide, the world’s most prestigious culinary guide book.

The 28-year-old chef at Mia, a contemporary European restaurant in Thailand, was one of 17 in the region to be recognised by the guide book in honour of the recent International Women’s Day.

Goh spoke about her signature dish, ‘Cereal Bowl,’ and what keeps her going in an article on the Michelin Guide website featuring female pastry chefs.

“This dish is inspired by my sister’s favourite dessert that you can get back in our hometown. It’s a shaved ice dessert but they put Milo, condensed milk, and corn in it.

“I wanted to take those flavours and make a dessert and realised that all those ingredients are typically things that we have for breakfast, so I decided to make an equivalent of cereal bowl,” she told the Michelin Guide.

Goh explained that the concept was to create a bowl of cereal that contained nostalgic flavours of childhood favourites.

“Our homemade cereal mix on top consists of caramelised popcorn, chocolate crumble, dehydrated milk and feuilletine. Then, a scoop of our corn ice cream and finished table side with our cornflake-infused milk,” she said.

The talented pastry chef added that she wanted to present something delicious and simple to create familiar flavours in a new and exciting way.

Michelle Goh

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you want something, go out and get it. If you want to be heard, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Be confident, be hard working and work towards being respected instead of liked,” Goh advised as she talked about the importance of perseverance and self-confidence.

Based on a September 2017 article on the Michelin Guide website, Goh left Sarawak at the age of 18 to study and hone her skills at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Singapore and then Bangkok as a pastry chef at the age of 23.

She had previously worked at Sühring, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Thailand.

According to the guide, Goh and her fiancé, Chef Pongcharn ‘Top’ Russell, are the driving forces behind Mia, which earned its first Michelin Plate award in Michelin Guide Thailand’s 2021 edition.

Michelin, the French tyre company, has been publishing Michelin Guides since 1904. Being awarded Michelin stars is considered by many chefs around the world as among the most prestigious professional accomplishments. — DayakDaily