CELEBRITY CHEF LILLIE GIANG | Community Clubs Victoria

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It’s our pleasure to introduce celebrity Chef Lillie Giang, who is known as the ‘Food Affectionist’. Lillie’s philosophy is encapsulated in her mantra, ‘learn…cook… share’, which demonstrates how Lillie is different from some traditional chefs over the years who never sought to divulge their secret recipes or ‘trade secrets’.

Lillie has always had a passion for cooking and loves exploring different cuisines. Naturally, with her Chinese heritage, Lillie’s Asian cooking skills are something that differentiates her from many chefs that are taught mostly traditional European style cookery in TAFE colleges in Victoria.

Some readers may have seen Lillie on shows such as the Cook’s Pantry and the Channel 10 mornings program, My Asian Banquet and Asian Inspirations. In addition, she has participated in events on the Crown Promenade and community events featured in the Knox and Chinese Association of Victoria’s

Lillie has always been a community minded person who loves running cooking
workshops and bringing people together with some good old fashion situational comedy, while getting class participants to enjoy their new cooking experience.

This enjoyment, working with people, teaching and seeing the enjoyment of students, with their confidence building and a sense of achievement, lead Lillie
to develop a range of cooking programs that have taken off, including:
– National Disability insurance Scheme (NDIS)
– Cooking lessons for people of all abilities
– Urban Food Safari
– Back of the Pantry
– Just for Kids (Food forest and playing with food)

The Federal Government’s NDIS program has enabled chef instructors like Lillie to work with NDIS participants, to teach people how to cook so that they can live with dignity and thrive independently.

The aim of the program is to foster trust, work collaboratively, build practical skills and share the joys of cooking. These classes vary in content according
to the student’s capabilities, living environment and their individual food preferences.

Students visit a market or supermarket and are shown how to identify produce that is fresh, in season, and nutritious, where to find trusted and reputable
brands, and to become savvy shoppers. After the class the recipes are written up, including pictures taken during the class to contextualise the work students
have done. This also serves as a shopping list and empowers the student to get back in the kitchen and do it all again. Teaching these students comes with the best rewards, in that the positive impact of sharing Lillie’s food knowledge is both rewarding and has changed Lillie’s outlook on life.

In every sense of the word, the Urban Food Safari is about bringing international cuisine to the local community. This program involves an ongoing
series of open workshops and demonstrations, prepared to showcase cultural heritage and cooking styles handed down through the generations.

Whether your focus is sustainability or arresting food cost percentages this workshop is a popular one! The ability to pull stock from the hidden recesses of the pantry, the forgotten drawers of the fridge and the frosty shelves of the freezer, transforming them into nothing short of classics. In this program, participants learn how a bit of imagination and some culinary coaching will ensure that students deliver a successful and surprising outcome.

Food cost is an issue for both families and commercial settings, so Lillie starts with tips concerning ‘smarter shopping’ and ‘working’ your ingredients. The program takes students through a step-by-step guide of what to shop for, where and when to shop and how to reduce costs and wastage, without sacrificing great taste.

Food Forest is all about getting kids closer to produce. Smelling, tasting, picking, naming, combining, cutting, peeling, gouging, splicing, shaving. There is a vast and playful vocabulary when it comes to preparing, serving and eating food. In the Food Forest program, Lillie makes this journey simple, playful and delicious. Kids learn where their food comes from, how it is grown, how they can grow it, and how they can cook some great dishes. Playing with Food – Kids are too often told to not play with their food! This workshop makes   playing with food fun to get some great learning outcomes.

Kids learn best through interaction, experimentation and fun. This hands-on introduction into the world of taste, texture, scent and colour keeps the participants engaged and learning every step of the way. Chef Lillie’s engagement with her audience is what makes the experience so memorable for her workshop participants. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Lillie adapted her cooking classes to appear via streaming on ZOOM and Facebook. We look forward to Lillie popping in on some CCV events during 2021 to discuss training, menu development, Asian cooking cuisine and how clubs can obtain value from the concepts that Lillie teaches in her workshops.

For other articles relating to Food and Beverage please click here to view CCV Autumn 2021 Hub – Food and Beverage Edition

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