15 Feb, 2019
10 : 00
We are excited to introduce Mr Alan Chang as the new catering manager of our Chartwells kitchen at Yew Chung International School of Beijing. Alan has a great deal of experience in food and is thinking about fresh ideas for our menus this semester. We talk to Alan to find out more.
Please introduce yourself and your experience
I am from Taiwan but I have spent much of my life in Vancouver, Canada. I discovered my love of cooking when I took up a restaurant job in a Chinese restaurant in Vancouver. After working there for two years I became a chef at a Japanese izakaya and learnt under a master Japanese chef. I moved into a managerial role, which involved designing operations and menus. My final position in Vancouver was at a French restaurant where I learnt the fundamentals of French cooking. After ten years in Vancouver I returned to Taipei where I set up two restaurants – a hot pot restaurant and an Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant. Most recently I was a chef at the five-star Regent Hotel in Taipei.
Why did you apply for a role at Chartwells?
I heard that Chartwells were looking for someone with extensive experience in global cuisines. With my background in Asian and Western cooking, I felt able to develop a menu that would fit all our students’ tastes.
What can schools do to keep food tasty, healthy and varied?
Catering companies like Chartwells have strict food safety and hygiene standards. This limits the number suppliers canteens can source ingredients from. However, canteens can still be creative and improve their menus even with limited supplies. They can also work with suppliers and always try to expand what is on offer.
Students of different ages have different meal requirements and tastes. For students of ECE-age, I recommend that food is colourful, cute and easy to eat.
Mix of cuisines
In an international school such as ours, there also needs to be a good mix of Asian and Western food choices.
Caterers should make an effort to reduce sugar content in their meals and snacks. Reducing the amount of oil and sauces also helps bring out the natural sweetness and goodness of fresh ingredients.
Chartwells has been working with our community to improve our menu and nutritionalvalues. What are the results so far?
Based on feedback from students and the food committee, we keep our food much hotter so that it’s piping hot when it is served. We have also started serving more vegetables which should mean that vegetarian students are better provided for.
We are looking forward to seeing the exciting changes that Alan will bring about andwill continue to work with Chartwells and our students to make the food the best it canbe!