Chef David Auyong: Bringing Malaysia to the Gelato World Cup

Four days left before the start of the 9th Coppa del mondo della Gelateria and Malaysia is ready to surprise! The participating teams will be 11 as Hungary just announced its withdrawal. More opportunities for the humble Malaysia’s team, that didn’t see any changes from the beginning, especially considering that a Malaysian Team won the 2019 edition of the Pastry World Cup. The expectations are really high.

Everybody is thrilled waiting for the upcoming Gelato World Cup at Sigep, Rimini (Italy). The cheering on the social media is booming, so we decided to interview the team leader of Malaysia’s team, David Auyong. Graduated at the prestigious KDU College in 2004, after working at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center and at the Istana Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, David is currently the Head of the Pastry department at MITEC (Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre). In the last ten years, he received many international awards: two gold medals and the outstanding pastry chef mention at the 2019 Selangor International Culinary Festival, the silver medal in the Plated Dessert category at the 2019 Food&Hotel Malaysia, the bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Gelato Cup, the bronze medal at the 2013 Pastry Chocolate Caving Showcase, the silver medal at the 2011 Food&Hotel Malaysia, and that same year the bronze medal at the Fonterra Pastry Challenge in Singapore and at the Pastry Display at HOFEX, Hong Kong.

1. Congrats on your awesome results at the Asian Gelato Cup 2018. Because of you, Malaysia is entitled to participate at the 2020 Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria for the first time in the history. It is a milestone for your country. How do you feel?

We feel proud to take part in this important international competition. Indeed, we are honoured to represent our country and to bring along the passion of all the Malaysian pastry chefs. Before starting our training, we promised everybody that we would bring out the best in us. We are thrilled and overwhelmed as well as somewhat insecure because we feel to be just “amateurs” on the gelato world stage. The Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria gave us a big push and an advanced platform to learn about gelato, sorbets, new recipes and techniques. This race is really an eye-opening opportunity for us. 

2. The gelato market in Malaysia is growing fast. It looks like Malaysians love frozen desserts as cool treat, especially handcrafted gelato. Which are the most popular flavours? 

That’s true! Our government is actively promoting the importance of developing a balanced diet through all its channels. As Chefs, we have got the responsibility to be proactive in coming out with new balanced recipes, without losing the taste. Our clients deserve it. Instead of using refined sugar, we switched to brown sugar (Gula Melaka in Malay language). It enables us to enrich our frozen desserts with higher nutrition values and more minerals. Moreover, we always try to use natural sweeteners (honey or maybe real fruit) into our recipes. Cendol, AisKacang, Milk Tea are few examples of our preferred local delicacies. We are already transforming them in Gelato flavours. Malaysians also love strong spices like lemongrass and ginger flower, so you find them in the form of sorbets too if you visit us!

3. Is the fusion between gelato and pastry strong in your country?

It definitely is. Malaysia is a food paradise and we love to explore different cuisines, authentic flavours and diverse cooking styles. The majority of the pastry shops in Malaysia have a combination of handcrafted ice cream, cakes, pastries and hot meals. If you walk into any cake shop, you have got the chance to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and a waffle pancake with one or two ice cream scoops on top. The ice cream puff pastry is growing popular as snack. People love spending time with family and friends, and they prefer to gather in one of the nice cafés in town, since they serve almost everything, and the entire group can enjoy the time together. We are a multicultural country and we always tend to explore new tastes, so you can really find gelatos and pastries inspired by European and Asian culinary traditions. And if you ask for something special, many Chefs will be happy to create for you original and personalised gelato-cakes, with the flavours of your choice.

4. A trend that you forecast? 

Anything serves the on-the-go purpose will have an advantage.

5. A preview of what you are going to put in the spotlight at Coppa Del Mondo della Gelateria 2020?

We are going to introduce some local spices: Gula Merah, Gula Melaka, Lemongrass, Ginger Flower and Pink Guava. We aim to showcase Malaysia’s most authentic ingredients and to introduce our country to the world a bit more. 

6. Everybody is excited about the very first Malaysia’s participation at the Gelato World Cup. The European teams have high expectations considering also that Malaysia won the 2019 Pastry World Cup. What do you wish to yourselves and to all the other teams?
We are thrilled, overwhelmed, stressed, excited… We have got so many mixed feelings about this competition. Our team members are mostly chefs and we are chasing and squeezing time from our daily jobs, family and friends to train well. It’s like being burning candles at both ends. As it’s the very first time for a Malaysian team to stand for this title, we are doing our best and we won’t let ourselves down. Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria give us a really good educational opportunity and serves as stepping stone to introduce Malaysia to the world.

7. What does gelato mean for you?

I’ve never been in Italy, I look forward to taste local gelatos! Malaysians are slowly getting aware of the difference between soft-serve ice-cream and gelato. They know that gelato is made with organic ingredients. This is a very important selling point for us. I consider it a booming industry and I believe gelato will get wider acceptance in the future.
I started making gelato ten years ago when I was introduced to it while working in a luxury hotel. More I learn about Gelato, the more I see a huge potential. A Carpigiani Gelato University course in Singapore, at the At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy, definitely opened my eyes on recipe creations, techniques, skills and ingredients’ knowledge. I’m ready to be surprised again at Sigep, in Rimini.

Get Chef Auyong’s recipe at

(Valentina Righi - BOOP.NEWS)

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