Chang Yew Boon Shakes Up Success with Local Flavour in Mixology Scene

October 10, 2023

Chang Yew Boon, an alumnus of INTI International College Penang’s Diploma in Hotel Management programme, has embarked on an extraordinary journey fueled by his unwavering passion for mixology. His remarkable achievement of securing silver awards in both the cocktail and mocktail categories at Culinaire Malaysia 2023, held from 19 to 22 September 2023, vividly illustrates the exceptional skills and unwavering commitment he developed during his educational journey at INTI International College Penang’s School of Hospitality (SOHOS).

Igniting a Passion: Chang Yew Boon’s Mixology Journey

Chang’s entrée into the world of mixology was sparked during his one-year internship at Shangri-La Far Eastern in Taipei. Initially hired as a waiter, his supervisor and manager recognised his untapped potential, entrusting him with bartending. What started as a routine role soon became a deep-seated passion, propelling Chang to further explore the intricate art of mixology.

Chang fondly recalled this pivotal moment, “Initially, I anticipated a routine role as a waiter. However, fate intervened when I crossed paths with my supervisor and manager, who nurtured my bartending skills. They entrusted me with more than just waiting tables. What started as mere curiosity evolved into a passion, propelling me to explore mixology further.”

(From left to right) Chang Yew Boon posing with his colleagues during his internship at Shangri-La Far Eastern Hotel Plaza Taipei. This internship allowed him to join their Elite Intern Program and participate in various internal hotel organisational activities.


Local Ingredients, Global Recognition: Chang’s Award-Winning Creations

Chang’s winning creations at Culinaire Malaysia 2023 are a testament to his inspiration and relentless hard work.

“I draw inspiration from Malaysia’s rich tapestry of local ingredients, integrating them to produce unique and diverse flavours. Ingredients such as Pisang Berangan, Pandan, Kedondong, and various spices take centre stage in my creations,” he shared.

Chang’s commitment to perfection demands continuous research and development (R&D) to perfect its flavour, function, colour, and combinations. He meticulously crafts each cocktail and mocktail, infusing them with these traditional elements’ diverse and untapped potential. His pursuit of perfection has led to relentless R&D efforts, enabling him to extract each component’s unique qualities and flavours, creating a symphony of taste that captivates the senses.


(From left to right) Chang, an active representative of the Diploma in Hotel Management programme, took on responsibilities such as assisting in arranging mixology, housekeeping, front office, and other experiential projects.


INTI’s School of Hospitality: A Catalyst for Chang’s Triumph

Chang attributes a significant portion of his success to INTI International College Penang’s School of Hospitality. The Diploma in Hotel Management programme catalysed his journey, allowing him to embark on an internship in Taipei, where his passion for mixology was kindled and nurtured.

“The programme provided me with a solid foundation in bartending through courses like ‘Beverage Studies,’ facilitating my mastery of advanced bartending knowledge and skills,” Chang recounted on his alma mater’s role. Mixology not only taught him bartending skills but also instilled confidence in him, especially when dealing with social anxiety.

Reflecting on the social aspect of bartending, Chang adds, “Bartending is an extremely social profession. Everyone behind the bar has a unique experience to share, and the customers you serve have their own stories to tell. There’s a reason they say bartenders make better psychologists!”

Chang, alongside the event organisers, during the medal presentation session at Culinaire Malaysia 2023, held from 19 to 22 September.


Beyond Mixing Drinks: Crafting Presentation and Customer Experience

Mixology extends beyond the art of creating drinks; it encompasses the presentation and the crafting of unforgettable customer experiences. According to Chang, continuous research and development are crucial to mastering the art and science of mixology. His journey has not only sharpened his bartending skills but has also fortified his confidence and social understanding.

Through his mixology journey, Chang has gained invaluable personal insights. He emphasised the role of bartending in building confidence and honing social skills, stating, “Bartending instilled confidence in me, especially in dealing with social anxiety. Confidence stems from competence, and bartending forced me to interact with diverse individuals daily.”

Chang Yew Boon’s journey has been inspiring, as he shared his vision for the future: “In the next five years, I envision reaching the pinnacle of mixology, aspiring to become a hotel head bartender or bar manager;” he said, adding that he hopes to own his bar, where he can continue to delight patrons with his craft and creativity.

Chang is preparing to showcase his mixology presentation and skills.