Viewpoints from Aussie Cuisine

  • Respecting foreign food cultures encourages dialogue and understanding, as it brings people together.

  • Chinese food has become very popular in the western world and has promoted China as a tourist destination. Therefore, good Western food should also be available to their visitors and to the fast growing Chinese epicureans.

  • ‘I think in the future the Western cooking, the Western food and Western restaurants in China will get better and better’, says Chef teacher Li Shuo from Beijing New East Cuisine Cooking School.

By Alice Roberts 

A Chinese chef learning about Australian cooking techniques in central Queensland says there is a growing demand for Western cuisine in China.

Thirty chefs from hotels, cooking schools and five-star restaurants from across China travelled to Rockhampton to take part in a pilot program through CQ University, teaching them about Western ways of preparing food.

Chef teacher Li Shuo from Beijing New East Cuisine Cooking School said it was a great opportunity.

“When I go back, I can show my students and I feel here we have learnt a lot about more techniques and ingredients and some foods — it’s perfect,” he said.

He said it was important to constantly build on his education.

“In China, we have a great economy and most people take care of their body and health and they have a lot of knowledge of the Western culture, so they want more from the Western world, the Western culture,” he said.

“I think in the future the Western cooking, the Western food and Western restaurants in China will get better and better.”

Shanghai hotel chef Cao said he enjoyed travelling overseas to experience different cuisines.

“We’re trying to bring the Chinese culture to the world and also we hope to bring the Western culture to the Chinese cuisine as well, so we can have a mix,” he said.

CQ University Professor Bill Blayney said he travelled to China to work with the Chinese Cuisine Association (CCA) to make the three-week program a reality.

“In China, one of the fastest growing cuisines is Western cuisine, so everywhere we went, people were really excited about being part of this process,” he said.

He said the demand for the program has been huge with both training colleges and five-star restaurants eager to send chefs.

CQ University chef teacher Tim Wade said they received daily feedback from the chefs taking part in the pilot program, so they could tailor it as they went along.

“We’ve taken a number of different dishes from restaurants, whether they be local restaurants or restaurants that have got ratings as per Gourmet Traveller or the magazines that rate restaurants throughout Australia,” he said.

“We’ve used some of the dishes from those restaurants and we’ve basically done our own interpretations of them, using what we call our basic methods of cookery.”

Dr Blayney said Rockhampton was well placed to offer such a program.

“In Australia we’ve always merged Asian and Western cuisine together, so it was a perfect example using the best beef, the best seafood and trying to get them into that concept of ‘you already have some great skills, you already have some great techniques and we just want to show you the Western techniques’,” he said.

“And then they have a challenge every day to see how they can merge those two cultures together into some kind of creative dish that they need to come up with.”

He said while there are plans to have more groups coming through the university in the coming months, he also hoped an exchange program could be set up.

“Part two of the program was to also send our chefs over to teach them further,” he said.

“That’s still in negotiation at the moment but [the head of the Chinese Cuisine Association] was also very keen for our chefs in Australia to be part of an exchange program where they could go and learn Chinese cuisine.”

“It’s a great exchange of ideas because their skill set is very different to ours, very fine, they have a longer apprenticeship cycle than ours.”

Reference:

Roberts, A. (1 June 2017). Chinese chefs learn Australian cooking as demand for Western cuisine grows. ABC News. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-01/growing-demand-for-australian-cuisine-in-china/8575990