Cooking combinations throughout the world today are mind-boggling. Restaurant and hotel kitchens use a diversity of seasonings, spices and foods brought to the world by various Asian countries such as China, Japan, and southeast Asia. Many of the dishes we prepare in Canadian kitchens are characteristically European with an emphasis on mildly spiced meat dishes with various sauces. We are sometimes reluctant to experiment with new tastes and flavours.
Today, however, that reluctance is being rapidly overcome. The change started about twenty five years ago with ‘la nouvelle cuisine.’ Chefs drew upon a style of food that was regarded, at the time, as exotic. ”La nouvelle cuisine” did not last long and soon there was a growing trend in “East/West cuisine” now commonly know as “Fusion cuisine.” This is a cooking style and service which emphasizes the blending of foods, spices and flavourings from both European and Asian kitchens.
Our international field trip to Hong Kong in 2001 opened faculty and students’ eyes to foods and ingredients totally unlike the egg foo young and chow mein dishes offered in today’s Chinese restaurants.
Our goal for students enrolled in the Hotel and Culinary Management Programs, is to participate in special college functions, banquets and gourmet dinners throughout the year. Cooking and serving at these extra curricular events serves several purposes: gaining experience in the kitchen, service tasks of operating a large banquet and fundraising for the international field trip.
In 2002 our students, in a graduating position, will travel to Thunder Bay’s sister city Singapore to work in food and beverage establishments. This experience will prove invaluable exposing students to another culture and way of life. In Singapore cooking is regarded as an art, not a science, as well as creative, experimental and imaginative.
Singapore features fusion cooking and the merging of Eastern and Western cuisine and will be an unforgettable trip.