DELIVERING a thousand meals a day at The Lion Richlands keeps executive chef Wichaisit Saikhaw, affectionately known as Tam, very busy, but he had time to spare for students at Corinda State High School.
He recently visited the school’s culinary students as part of a program to engage students with cooking.
Tam’s extensive background in his craft is matched by his eagerness to engage young people in the joys of cooking. His visit to the Year 8 students at Corinda High included advice they could use at home.
Tam’s engagingdemonstrations included the art of portioning a whole chicken and the finesse required to French, prepare, and portion a rack of lamb.
“I couldn’t believe these were only Year 8 students because their knowledge surprised me,” Tam said.
“It was refreshing to be out of the kitchen and working with young and enthusiastic future chefs who have a real feel for the kitchen.
“There is so much that you can do in the kitchen and young people can make great progress with a few simple tips.”
The cookery maestro had five top tips for his teen acolytes:
- Prioritise food safety to keep everyone safe. This means not mixing raw meat and veg and using different chopping boards for them. Keep your hands clean.
- Look after your equipment with good sharp knives. Take care of your pots and pans and bits and pieces.
- Cooking time matters. A few minutes too much or too little can destroy a meal.
- Embrace experimentation. Visit different parts of the culinary world to get the most out of cooking.
- Master the art of plating. Presentation is an artform.