Leading Australian hospitality institutions welcome Taste of Australia winners

The Blue Mountains Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) and William Blue College of Hospitality Management at Torrens University Australia will host the winners of Austrade’s Taste of Australia culinary competition from Vietnam this week.

In April 2017, Nguyễn Phương Diệu and Nguyễn Hồng Quân fended off a number of other competitors to win the coveted culinary trip to Australia in three demanding rounds: a skills test, a mystery box challenge and a replication test. Judges in this year’s competition include Taste of Australia Ambassador Celebrity Chef Luke Nguyễn, MasterChef Việt Nam Ngô Thanh Hòa, MasterChef Korea Sid Choi (also a William Blue alumni), Australian Consul-General Karen Lanyon and Madame Ánh Tuyết.

“It is an incredible opportunity for both BMIHMS and William Blue to be involved in this global initiative that will strengthen the bonds between our two countries, and to welcome both Nguyễn Phương Diệu and Nguyễn Hồng Quân to our city,” said Mr Jerome Casteigt, Laureate Australia and New Zealand General Manager (Hospitality).

The winners of this year’s Taste of Australia competition will enjoy a week-long itinerary of cultural activities including tours of Sydney, the Blue Mountains and culinary learning sessions with Australian culinary master, Jason Hannah, Executive Chef and Applied Learning Manager – Hospitality, William Blue College of Hospitality at Torrens University.

“With more than 25 years in the hospitality industry, Jason is an inspirational industry pioneer who will impart some of his knowledge and expertise to Nguyễn Phương Diệu and Nguyễn Hồng Quân,” said Mr Casteigt.

In addition to embracing Australian culinary techniques with Jason Hannah, the visiting party will also undertake sessions in practical kitchen skills at William Blue Dining – the college’s award-winning student training restaurant in The Rocks. Here they will participate in career development sessions and immerse themselves in wine studies at BMIHMS’ Leura Campus.

The visiting students will stay at Nesuto Leura Gardens Resort for some of their trip. Nesuto Leura Gardens is operated by BMIHMS at Torrens University students which is a unique teaching model where students are in contact with real guests.

“We are delighted to be able to share our expertise and learning models with the winners of the Taste of Australia competition and deliver real, hands-on experience that they will be able to take back to Vietnam and apply to their own careers,” added Mr Casteigt.

“Across all programs of study at Torrens University Australia, hands-on learning, through close partnerships with industry and leaders in their respective fields, increases graduate employability and bridges the gap between study and the world of work,” said Mr Casteigt.

“We look forward to participating in future Austrade initiatives, including Taste of Australia, and to raising the profile of Australian cuisine and hotel management around the world,” concluded Mr Casteigt.

Taste of Australia was created in 2016 by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) in conjunction with a number of industry partners, including Torrens University Australia. The competition and trip has been designed to introduce more Australia food and beverage techniques and products to consumers and industry in Vietnam, and to foster closer cross-cultural connections between the two nations.

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