Celebrity Luxembourg TV Chef and cookbook author Anne Faber conducted a hands-on workshop for Lao ‘Kitchen Assistant’ students at Vientiane’s Pakpasak Technical College, to teach them the underlying skills of Western-style food preparation.
The class culminated in a lunch served by the college’s ‘Food and Beverage Service’ students at the Lanith Cafe for some 20 distinguished guests including Mr Sam Schreiner, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg in Lao PDR.
Ms Faber teamed with Pakpasak instructors to guide 20 students in creating a traditional Luxembourg home-style meal from scratch, while adapting local ingredients found in Vientiane markets.
“I wanted them to better understand the background of the dishes, and learn the skills needed to prepare full Western meals,” Ms Faber said.
To accomplish this, the star of “Anne’s Kitchen” TV show divided the class into groups, and assigned them to do different tasks in work stations. They then worked together for the main dish, Kniddelen, an iconic Luxembourg mainstay.
“I just showed the students what to do, the process and timing, and they did it,” Ms Faber explained, adding, “They helped each other, learned very quickly, and were very focused. There was no air of competition, and they were extremely proud of their achievement.”
Daosoukoula Vilay, a chef at the School of Tourism and Hotel, said, “It was an honour for me and my C1 students (Certificate 1) to have an opportunity to work with Chef Anne in preparing Luxembourgish menus for our guests.”
C1 student, Phonemany Keokhampheng, noted, “We saw the difference between the art of Lao and Western cooking that made us want to improve ourselves and explore more about other cuisines. We loved all the food that we made, especially the Luxembourg dumplings that are so tasty, fragrant, and mouth-watering.”
To further enhance their skills, Ms Faber showed the students how to adapt local ingredients and cooking equipment to create a Western meal. “I also built on what they have already learned at the school about the details for serving Western guests…how to select the appropriate plates and stemware for the specific dishes, and prepare the dishes in the proper order to deliver a fresh meal at the correct temperature.”
Mr Schreiner who inspected the kitchen and classrooms, before partaking in the lunch, commended the efforts of Ms Faber, the teachers and the students while noting the progress being made by the Skills for Tourism Project at the campus.
“The project is moving forward and continually building students’ skills,” he said. “Students are getting good training and education, and graduates will be able to find jobs and start a career in hospitality.”
Mr Schreiner stressed that the project also helps the Lao tourism economy by improving service standards, a key element in moving the industry forward.
The Skills for Tourism Project • LAO/029 is co-financed by the Governments of Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland, and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev).
Photos by Bart Verweij