Howard Jefferson Kusnowirjono: Transformative Journey in Cooking Up Change

Howard Jefferson Kusnowirjono: Cooking Up Change

 Embarking on a transformative culinary journey, Howard Jefferson Kusnowirjono reflects on his academic and professional odyssey. From community service in Malaysia to culinary exploits in Australia, his narrative unfolds with enriching experiences and enduring friendships.

After completing his BSc (Hons) in Culinary Management at the School of Hospitality and Service Management, Howard gained valuable real-life experience through various hands-on learning sessions and work-based programmes, including internships and participation in kitchen demonstrations and restaurant operations. These experiences gave him insights into the industry's operations and prepared him for his career.

During his programme, Howard engaged in community service because he strongly desired to give back to society. He and his peers organised fundraising activities for the "National Autism Society of Malaysia" by selling food and beverages. The impact of contributing to the community still resonates with him today, as he is currently involved in a soup kitchen in Sydney, where he provides food and groceries to those in need.

The lectures and administrative staff left a lasting impression on Howard. This includes Chef Chong Wei Tzeh and Chef Soon Pau Voon, who taught him culinary operations and techniques from the Diploma to his Degree level, as well as Ms Karen Lui Koon Ling and Ms In Sze Yunn, who made his journey at Sunway University memorable by assisting him with academic work and administrative tasks.

Working on various assignments with his classmates significantly enhanced Howard's teamwork skills. Juggling multiple tasks simultaneously helped him refine his time management abilities and perform well under pressure.

Howard began his journey at Sunway University in 2011, enrolling in the "Diploma in Culinary Arts" programme. Witnessing the campus expansion and development, from the construction of the new campus building to navigating Sunway with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), was a testament to the continuous improvement of the learning environment. The upgraded library, state-of-the-art kitchen facilities, and classrooms further enhanced his learning experience at the university.

When he was not in class, Howard enjoyed exploring various food options in the suburbs and city of Kuala Lumpur. Whether it was a food stall in the food court or a restaurant in the city, his love for food and desire to broaden his palate led him on culinary adventures. As the saying goes, "Good memories and lifelong friendships are made over the dining table."

Some of Howard's coursemates have become like family to him. He has attended their weddings, witnessed their families grow, and continued to maintain connections with them when he returns home. The bond they formed during their time at Sunway University remains strong.

Howard began his professional journey as an intern at One World Hotel, a five-star hotel in the central area of Petaling Jaya. He worked in multiple sections, gaining exposure to different kitchens throughout the hotel. Later, he worked as an intern at Table and Apron, collaborating with talented chefs and discovering exceptional local produce.

After graduating from Sunway University, Howard moved to Australia to further his career. He worked at an Italian fine dining restaurant in Sydney, where all food products, from bread to pasta and cheeses, were made in-house. He also had the chance to work with whole animal butchery and embrace the nose-to-tail concept, ensuring no parts of the animal went to waste. Later, he landed a job at Three Blue Ducks, where he worked with one of Australia's MasterChef Judges and progressed to his current role as a Junior Sous Chef.

To the next generation of Sunwayians, Howard wants to share this message: Life can sometimes be hectic and overwhelming. When things move too fast, take a step back, pause, take a deep breath, and focus on the present moment. It is essential to be grateful for what you have and not hesitate to seek help. While pursuing academic achievements, one must remember to have fun and build lifelong relationships. And most importantly, believe in yourself! You are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to.