Issue 4
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Commercial cookery and bakery lecturer Jason Wilkes and Certificate III in Hospitality student Raul Cortef-Cowper celebrate Harmony Day
Commercial cookery and bakery lecturer Jason Wilkes and Certificate III in Hospitality student Raul Cortef-Cowper celebrate Harmony Day

Cooking and culture combine in harmony

By Leanne Miles

An event at Charles Darwin University Palmerston campus has combined culture and cooking to celebrate Harmony Day.

More than 150 staff, students and community members gathered in the cookery training kitchen to blend a variety of flavours before sharing food at Karawa training restaurant to celebrate multiculturalism in the workplace.

Commercial cookery and bakery lecturer Jason Wilkes is one of 19 “A Taste of Harmony 2016” Chef Ambassadors from around Australia who held events to celebrate food and cultural diversity.

“It was a really exciting event with everyone bringing a dish that represents their culture to share,” Mr Wilkes said.

“We have a large contingent of international students from all around the globe including Taiwan, Chile, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, India, East Timor, France and Fiji.”

Mr Wilkes said this was the eighth year the campus had held an event and it was more important than ever, in light of recent acts of terrorism that were aimed at creating fear of other cultures.

“Food is a common thread that we all share and it is a great way to bring people together to start the conversation and show mutual respect, values, understanding and inclusiveness as a community and society,” he said.

Mr Wilkes said that as a chef and cookery lecturer he loved all types of cuisine, and living and working in the Darwin region there was an eclectic mix of cultures.

“The Northern Territory does it better than the rest of the country every day. We are a melting pot of diversity with the multicultural population, cultures and cuisines with the most amazing ingredients,” he said.

Certificate III in Hospitality student Raul Cortef-Cowper created a traditional Chilean dish, “Pastel de Papas”, with his mother to share at the Harmony Day event.

“The dish is like a potato pie with mashed potato and minced meat, along with olives and white wine,” Raul said. “We cook it in small terracotta bowls and serve it as a main meal at lunch.”

Raul, who arrived in Darwin from Chile two years ago, said he was attracted to CDU because of the facilities such as a fully functioning restaurant and bar to hone his skills in hospitality.

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