Vietnam Time

6/6/2019 2:16:37 PM

KOTO trainees’ learnt from well-known cook Adam Liaw

As part of the Australian Government’s Taste of Australia 2019 program in Vietnam, the trainees at KOTO hospitality training centre were extremely excited to welcome Adam Liaw, cook, writer, television presenter and Australia MasterChef Winner 2010 on June 3.

Taste of Australia is the annual Vietnam-wide celebration of Australian food, beverages, cuisine and culture.

Adam helps one group cook their Australian steak. Photos: Taste of Australia

At the meeting, Adam was welcomed by Australian Ambassador in Vietnam Craig Chittick and KOTO founder, Jimmy Pham.

After a tour of the centre, Adam led a cooking class in dishes using Australian salmon and steak, as well as making traditional Anzac biscuits. During the session, he answered probing questions from the 19 engaged students.

The students replicate Adam’s salmon and macadamia tarator dish.

Adam is impressed with the finished dishes and provides feedback on cooking and presentation.

Founded in 1999 by Vietnamese-Australian Jimmy Pham, KOTO (stands for Know One, Teach One) is a non-profit social entrepreneur that empowers at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam through its intensive training program.

Only 25 students are accepted every 6 months, yet the list of applications far exceeds that. 

Adam answers questions from the students.

In addition to offering hospitality skills training, KOTO also provides its trainees with accommodation, medication, English lessons, sports and life skills training such as how to budget their allowance, teamwork and personal hygiene.

Before their graduation, every KOTO's trainee is required to have a final assessment where they come as a group, designing menu, costing, and running the whole kitchen themselves like a professional restaurant with time and budget constraints. Part of the judge panel will be external stakeholders of KOTO, who are invited to join the party and assess the quality of the food/drinks and service.

More than 70% of KOTO’s current staff are former graduates who have worked in 5 star hotels in Vietnam and abroad, and then returned to teach the new crop of students.

KOTO training restaurants are based at 59 Van Mieu St., Hanoi and 19A Nguyen Dinh Chieu St., Ho Chi Minh City./.

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