Culinary Institute of America leads Asian cuisines boot camp at Harvard

HUDS’ chefs alongside their instructor, Chef Shirley Cheng. Credit: HUDS

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Chef Shirley Cheng, a Professor of Culinary Arts at the Hyde Park, NY campus of the Culinary Institute of America, visited Harvard University Dining Services’ (HUDS) kitchens from June 3–6, 2017 to run its team of chefs through an intensive Asian cuisines training.

Fourteen chefs received instruction in the techniques of the cuisines of China, Japan, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam. Each day ‘s training included a brief history of the regional cuisines, as well as hands-on execution of an extensive menu.

“These are some of the most popular cuisines with our students,” noted HUDS’ Managing Director, David P. Davidson, “and many are ‘home cooking’ for our diverse undergraduate community. It was important to improve the authenticity of our execution of these dishes.”

Each day’s training included the preparation of approximately 20 dishes, which were then presented by the chef who executed them, while all tasted. Beginning in the fall of 2017, those recipes will begin to appear on the HUDS undergraduate dining hall menu.

“My appreciation and understanding of these cuisines has grown ten-fold,” noted Martin Breslin, Director for Culinary Operations. “The techniques are simple but vital to the authenticity of the flavors.”

Harvard University Dining Services operates 13 residential dining halls, 14 campus retail cafes, a kosher kitchen and complete catering services.  The country’s oldest collegiate foodservice operation, HUDS serves approximately 5 million meals a year.