Competitions can be considered the spaces for unleashing the talents of many participants, as well as they are stages to showcase people’s potentials that could further their opportunities.
Like other challengers, Pu – Puripat Wuttipattananon, a 4th year student from Dusit Thani College’s Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management Program, was interested in joining competitions before he enrolled in the college. Currently, he is a competitive chef who has won medals from many competitions both in national and international level. He is also a champion of 28th WorldSkills Thailand Competition, with the honor of being Thailand’s representative for the next international rounds.
“When I was studying in vocational education, there were always competitions from different fields that recruited vocational students to participate in, including WorldSkills competition. Back then, I felt that the program looked huge and great. I wanted to try it out, so I studied more about WorldSkills and explored myself which field I was interested in. I chose the culinary field because I had a passion for cooking since I was a kid, so I went for a food study. Moreover, my inspiration was P’Ting Ting (Natcha Saengow, an alumnus of Dusit Thani College from culinary program as Pu). She had attended WorldSkills competition in culinary field and won the country’s first runner-up. I then made up my mind to study at Dusit Thani College.”
From his goal to a tackle. After Pu had enrolled in Dusit Thani College, the premier educational institute with top standards which is descended from Dusit Thani Family, he was introduced to the Culinary & Academic competitions Center, a center where students are prepared for national and international competitions with the supports from professional lecturers and counceling coaches to sharpen their skills. Pu passed the center’s qualifying round and joined the team. He had been advised by coaches and his seniors together with participation in an intensive training.
“The center and competitions give me skills. I have learned and practiced various cooking skills because each program has different challenges. Moreover, I receive endeavor, tolerance, ingredient management, and emotion control as mistakes could unpredictably happen. If we join a 1-hour competition with a plan to create 10 dishes and two of them go wrong, there will be some negative emotions coming up. If we lose control of our emotions and couldn’t improvise well, things could get worse and possibly lose from two to all dishes.”
When Pu’s gift for cooking meets intensive trainings together with continuous supports from lecturers, seniors, and the college that provides a specific room for practices, medals are the reward for all attempts.
“I got a bronze medal from ThaiFEX’s sweet contest, a bronze for Western food cooking’s doubles and a gold for singles from HoFEX, Hong Kong. I also got a gold from Alaska Seafood Competition. Lately, I collected all golds in WorldSkills’ regional competitions to be a representative of Thailand.”
Apart from the medals and cooking skills, Pu also reaches the opportunity to the way in his dream
Not only a role of competitor, Pu has also got a chance to be a coach preparing and teaching his juniors for competitions. This new role has given him an invaluable lesson that might not be found anywhere.
“Comparing myself in the past as a receiver to the current status of a giver, I have learned tons of things. I can see myself back then. I used to enjoy challenges and competitions as I just wanted to win and prove myself to others. I was so stubborn that I questioned every guidance from seniors or coaches that was opposite to my thoughts. I was too self-centered that there was a senior telling me to put down my ego. He said we could not beat anyone, no matter how much we have competed or how many medals we have got, it was just to show others what we could do more. We were still humans, equally and ordinarily. His speech has changed my perspective of competitions to a self development. Do more, gain more, do less, gain less. I also learn to embrace happiness in my favorite cooking process and my team.”
The stage of competition might differ in one’s life, but the most precious reward from it is to learn how to surpass and sustainably develop yourself, eventually.