Visiting Chinese chef spices up CPIT
A dish highlighting the use of Sichuan pepper was on the menu for guest chef Xing Qiao during a special Chinese cookery demonstration at CPIT's Department of Food and hospitality.
Usually based at one of China's top culinary academies, the Sichuan Tourism University, Qiao has previously worked at a Michellin-star restaurant in France and currently owns a restaurant in Chengdu.
Fondly known at CPIT as Joe, the Chinese chef arrived on 10 August on a four-week visit to learn about methods of teaching cookery training from CPIT's tutors.
He has since demonstrated why his home province is famous for pepper, with the distinctive aroma wafting out to the curious and hungry audience, which had gathered for traditional dishes such as Mapo Tofu and Gongbao Chicken.
Before he leaves on 4 September, Qiao has a full programme of observing lessons, demonstrating Chinese dishes to students and staff, planning dishes for Visions Pantry menu and having workshops with staff.
He was confident students could master his region's distinctive dishes. "Yes I think the students can learn to cook Sichuan food. This is very traditional, and how to make the sauce, that is very important. But our students here do it very well so I am very, very happy to see this at CPIT."
However Qiao was also keen to learn the kiwi style of cooking and has been impressed with our fresh produce. "New Zealand cooking is amazing to me. They use a different way to cook. Before I went to France so I know how to cook in the French way but I think New Zealand is very different to French. Ingredients are so fresh and natural. It smells good. Taste is brilliant."