Teasing out culinary creativity in students

The United States (US) Embassy in Brunei Darussalam organised a masterclass for students of hospitality and tourism of the Institute of Brunei Technical Education’s (IBTE) from September 21-26.

The masterclass, part of the embassy’s Culinary Diplomacy Programme, was led by Aziz Zaidi of The Nomadic Chef, a Bruneian graduate from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York.

Students were supervised by Aziz on the production and delivery of a three-course American meal at the Longhouse Training Restaurant, IBTE Sultan Saiful Rijal Campus, Jalan Muara.

Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Emily M Fleckner visited the campus and dined at the restaurant along with IBTE Acting CEO Dr Haji Mohammad Zamri bin Haji Sabli, IBTE Acting Principal of Central Campus Armi Durani bin Haji Durhman, and Head of School of Hospitality and Tourism Mohd Kamarul Izzudin bin Haji Kamaluddin yesterday in support of the American Cuisine Week.

Fleckner also toured IBTE’s ASEAN Kitchen and interacted with students and instructors at the School of Hospitality and Tourism.

The United States Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Chargé d’Affaires Emily M Fleckner speaking speaks with a teaching staff at the ASEAN Kitchen. PHOTO: US EMBASSY IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

On September 16, Aziz delivered a lecture to 50 students and demonstrated the preparation of classic American dishes. The students practised their tournée skills, with the winner receiving a prize for the best peeled potato. Aziz also shared his personal experience working at American establishments and emphasised the importance of practical training.

Aziz prepared popular American dishes such as Tex-Mex taco bowls and New Orleans gumbo using locally sourced ingredients. The masterclass encouraged students to be creative and to think beyond traditional cooking methods. It was conducted in an interactive manner involving hands-on preparation of American cuisine.

Aziz also shared his experience at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

Meanwhile, EducationUSA advisor at the embassy was present to guide students on further studies in the US.

The American Cuisine Week is part of the institution’s initiative in providing students with on-the-job training. The event at IBTE is the second of the US Embassy’s Culinary Diplomacy series, which aims to promote American culture through food to build cross-cultural understanding, enhance people-to-people interaction, and further cooperation between Brunei and the US.

The programme also helped broaden the students’ understanding of the relationship between food and culture.