Exporting our kitchen skills
ROCKHAMPTON'S newest export market is the sharing of culinary skills for the preparation of Asian Fusion style meals with international visitors.
For the past three weeks, a cohort of Chinese chefs have been participating in a CQUniversity pilot training program teaching them how to reinvent their cooking approaches using Asian Fusion to capture the imagination of their students and diners.
Yesterday, Beijing restaurateur Li Shuo and his peers prepared a Dragon Boat luncheon as a thank you to CQUni staff and invited guests who supported their learning at Willby's Training Restaurant at the Rockhampton City Campus.
Based in Beijing, restaurant teacher Li Shuo, 40, who has spent over two decades working in kitchens, has enjoyed his time in Australia absorbing the knowledge and techniques he will return home to pass onto his students.
"In the kitchen we learnt a lot of knowledge about techniques, wine, coffee, it was really good,” Mr Shuo said.
"We learnt a lot about new foods like ox tail, it's really nice and some beautiful desserts like chocolate pana cotta and cake with pear.”
The beauty of our natural surroundings wasn't lost on Mr Shuo who admired our beautiful weather, clean air, excellent ingredients and "everything like garden”.
CQU's commercial cookery teacher Adrian Newby said the project started when the Chinese Cuisine Association approached CQU to deliver skills and foundations in western cookery.
"They wanted to develop a broad understanding of the way a westerner would go about his craft,” Mr Newby said.
He said the program emerged following a visit to China last year by the CQ Dean of the School of Education and the Arts Dr Bill Blayney and chef teacher Tim Wade.
The cohort consisted of chefs who worked in international hotels, lecturers from the equivalent of our vocational colleges, and teachers.
Dr Blayney said the program would highlight Australia's place as one of the leaders of Asian Fusion cooking and Rockhampton as the Beef Capital.
"The program has been designed to give the chefs a foundation of western cuisine skills, which they'll be able to take back to their own enterprises,” he said.