CPIT partners in Roadside Food Project

CPIT partners in Roadside Food Project

A food initiative that teaches cafes how to cater for New Zealand's growing number of Chinese visitors has evolved into a partnership between CPIT and Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism.

Known as the Roadside Food Project, members of CPIT's Food and Hospitality school will be taking part in a cooking demonstration to showcase how to cook Asian-style food to café owners and chefs from about 20 cafes in the Canterbury region.

The Christchurch roadside leg will take place tomorrow, Wednesday May 27, at Trents Wholesale in Sydenham.

CPIT's Skills for Canterbury Workforce Development Representative Mei Law said the institute would provide professional training, using four simple Asian and Chinese dishes.

Initiated and funded by Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism, and working in partnership with CPIT, the project is part of a wider initiative to increase Asian and Chinese travellers' overall holiday satisfaction in the province, from Kaikoura to Twizel, so that café owners can include Chinese lunch options to their menus.

China was now New Zealand's second largest tourist market and everyone needed to be ready to welcome them, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said.

"Food plays an important part in holiday enjoyment. Chinese travellers are telling us that pies and sandwiches are poor substitutes for dumplings and stir-fried veggies."

Tourism New Zealand research indicated that roadside food across New Zealand was getting a less than glowing rating from Chinese visitors, he said.

"Our research in Canterbury backs this up. It shows while 62 per cent of independent Chinese visitors would like both Chinese and non-Chinese food on holiday, up to 27 per cent prefer to stick to just Chinese food when in New Zealand."

Hunter said tourism research also showed visitor numbers from China were on a sharp rise, with 265,000 Chinese visitors to New Zealand in 2014, and the number predicted to grow to 400,000 in 2018 and 571,000 by 2021.

The Christchurch roadside leg will take place tomorrow, Wednesday May 27, at Trents Wholesale in Sydenham, 4pm-6pm.

The next roadside project is due to stop at Aoraki Polytechnic in Timaru, on Wednesday 10 June.

For more information phone 03 940 8731 or email roadsidefood@cpit.ac.nz