Cooking with Tea: Tea-Inspired Dishes

Cooking with Tea: Tea-Inspired Dishes

In a world of spices and condiments, tea is an unlikely star; it is not the first thing that would come to your mind when reaching to season a spatchcock chicken, or for flavoring broths and stews, or even to put in cakes and scones. 

Sometimes the unlikeliest of heroes, the subtlest additions, are the ones that make the most lasting of impressions. 

Tea is just that. Tea has the ability to dignify and elevate a dish – any dish, any cuisine, any course. Tea, like most spices adds a sensorial aspect to food, but unlike other spices, there are different types and flavours of it which can enhance flavour and texture of food depending on which tea you decide to go with. 

Tea has a further functional aspect in helping to emulsify fats and help body functionality, especially in digestion. This is an herb which has a natural synergy with food so the possibilities of tea gastronomy and in using it when cooking, are endless! 

But with all things tiny but mighty, tea packs a punch so use it judiciously as its flavour contribution can be potent, just like many herbs. When cooking with tea, always aim to add new depth to flavour, and never to overwhelm the dish.

Treat it tenderly: over-brewing can bring out many bitter polyphenols, and tea can burn easily, especially when used as a smoking agent. 

Uses of Tea: Gastronomy 

Tea can function as a rub, marinade, smoking ingredient or can even be added directly to the cooking pot to impart dimension, depth and subtlety to familiar dishes. Many chefs claim that tea’s tannins help to tenderise meats in a manner similar to red wine. For instance, the Chinese have used Black Tea to flavour and colour hard-boiled eggs, or to smoke duck.

Tea in Appetisers, Mains & Savouries

Pique your guest’s palate with interesting flavours in tea-infused appetisers. Tea can function as a surprise element in food, especially the ones that come in uncommon flavours. As much as there is a tea for every mood, there is a tea for every occasion; tea in food can not only enhance flavour but also enhance an occasion – Roast Duck with Blueberry and Pomegranate Tea Sauce is one such example, perfect for elaborate dinners!

Tea for Dessert

Tea is a delightful addition to spice up and spruce up any dessert. From Matcha cheesecakes bursting with flavour to tea-inspired puddings, explore new flavours with common desserts with the surprise element of tea. Infusing Macarons with Green Tea is a refreshing take on a classic dessert while using Berry Tea gives your palate a taste of spring; Rose with French Vanilla Tea in Panna Cotta makes a delicious and fragrant dessert that would definitely have guests wanting more; and Earl Grey Tea makes for a flavourful addition to be speckled into cookies, scones and even cakes. 

Tea can further be used in dips, dressings, in jellies, jams, sorbets and sauces; and to drizzle over and enhance desserts and truly elevate them. 

Tea to Enhance Aroma

Tea can also be simply cooked in, to enhance aroma and sometimes even mask unpleasant odours that might arise from cooking certain foods. For instance, Jasmine Tea is often used to soften the inherent fishy scent in certain seafood dishes. Contemporary cooking sometimes employs Green Tea’s distinct taste to lend another flavour dimension to meats. Oolong Tea can be used in glazes; dried seafood can be rehydrated in Herbal and Green Teas; and fish can be poached in Black or Green Tea. 

With so many ways to use tea in cooking your food, it’s only fit-tea-ing that you find ways to use it in your dishes to elevate them and take them to all-new gastronomic heights!

Learn more about tea on the School of Tea E-Learning platform, visit


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Starring the World’s Most Versatile Herb – Black Tea

There is a tea for every mood, moment and celebration – we all know that by now. 

But did you also know that regardless of which tea you go to, almost all of them are perfect for baking! 

The versatile and diverse nature of tea and the many multidimensional aspects and flavour profiles that come with it, have led chefs around the world to try their hand at combining tea with baking – thereby producing truly gastronomical masterpieces.

Tea infused food and drink are experiences in themselves, as they offer many elements to a dish – tea is not just an accompaniment during evening snacks but a key ingredient of the snack itself. Often, you may taste individual notes of the tea in the dish, other times they subtly blend in offering just a hint of flavour. Whatever you may be looking for, tea elevates your dish by bringing out depth in flavour and character. 

Traditional black tea is the most consumed and common type of tea around the world. Without compromising the goodness in tea, black tea has been infused into a range of flavoured teas that you can use to bake with. 

Some of the flavour profiles include fruity, spicy, minty, tangy, citrus, sweet, creamy, floral and herbal and can be found in our wide range of flavoured teas and infusions. 

Black tea is a perfect baking ingredient. Try your hard at making a warm, moist Apple cake with cumquat glaze, utilizing Dilmah Ceylon Supreme or any Dilmah Black tea. Or, how about Cardamom Scented Almond Friands, moistened with a syrup made with aromatic Dilmah Italian Almond Tea that adds not only flavour but a lovely sheen to the cakes providing a perfect balance between almond, cardamom and citrus flavours.

Among the notable creations that caught our eye in recent times, is Museum Art Hotel’s (New Zealand) brilliant tea infused strawberry mille feuille filled with silver jubilee Ceylon strawberry tea infused crème patisserie, and served with tea syrup and frozen strawberries.  

Similarly, Shangri-La UAE also jumped on the bandwagon of tea infused bakes, with their new take on a classic favourite, the New York t-cheese cake. The cookie-based cheese cake is revived with the flavour of Dilmah’s spring time chocolate mint tea, to give a lovely twist to a classic tea time favourite.

For more tea inspired gastronomy and mixology recipes and ideas, please visit Tea Recipes | Home | Tea Inspired Recipes

*Links for the recipes mentioned: 

Apple cake with cumquat glaze: Glazed Apple Cake Recipe | Food | Tea Inspired Recipes

Cardamom Scented Almond FriandsAlmond Meal Friands Recipe | Food | Tea Inspired Recipes


Kimberly Brock Brown: “Nobody dreams of being the sous chef”

Kimberly Brock Brown: “Nobody dreams of being the sous chef”

Renowned chef and member of the Worldchefs Association, Kimberly Brock Brown, joins Hosco to talk about her long and exciting journey in the kitchen. She enlightened us about the precise science of baking and pastry, how important  it is to find the right culinary mentor to help you develop, and the challenges she has faced as a woman in a male-dominated career path.

“Baking is a science, cooking is a hobby.”

Despite angry or absent instructors, Kimberly Brock Brown fell in love with pastry during culinary school and never looked back. Her story will show you that if you find your passion and follow it, the sky’s the limit for your career.

Why cooking? What drove you to the kitchen to begin with?

I started cooking because it was one of the chores the kids in my family had to do growing up. And, you know, sometimes you liked it, sometimes you didn’t. You’d always rather be outside but when it was your time to cook, you know, the challenge was there and I enjoyed it. I loved the fact that you could create something, and people will eat it and be satisfied and want more!

Growing up in my family, you didn’t leave the table until your plate was clean. So when people are cleaning their plates and wanting more, that’s a good feeling, that’s a good feeling. The fact that you could make the food delicious and people would want more, that’s what stuck for me.

What about your first time working in a professional kitchen?

I had a part time job when I was in high school working at the deli of Kmart, which is a big box superstore. At that time, it was kind of new because those kinds of stores didn’t usually have a deli in them. We were slicing lunch meats, baking pretzels, making hot sandwiches, scooping ice cream–a little bit of everything. So, it was at a fast food deli counter that I got my start.

What was your first experience with culinary school?

Growing up in Chicago, there are fabulous restaurants everywhere. My parents would take us out to once or twice a month, so I got exposed to different cuisines as a kid but it never dawned on me that there was actually a career path related to cooking food. I was trying to figure it out but terms like culinary arts or chef were foreign to me.

I remember that I was waiting tables in Dallas when somebody showed me a write up from a newspaper. It was about some guy who had recently graduated from the local ACF culinary apprenticeship program. It was a huge article that talked about everything he learned to cook and prepareD in order to graduate and become a certified cook.

I’d never heard anything like that before so when I read all those details about the program I thought, “Oh my god, that’s what I want to do!” So I called the number listed in the article for the school, El Centra College, and I was there the next semester, ready to go.

How has culinary school changed since you first went back in the 80’s?

I’ve been back in the classroom since then to sit on the other side of the students, as an adjunct professor.

One big difference is the books that are available now compared to what I had back in my day. And, you still need your basic food prep 101; everybody needs to know how to hold a knife and have some basic culinary skills before you turn them loose and get more specific in different parts of the kitchen.

There’s more focus on the nutritional value of a dish than there was before. And plating has certainly evolved a lot. When I was in school, we didn’t have tweezers or all the platters and plates that culinary students do these days.

Now you can be more precise and present plates with style but we didn’t really do that stuff when I was in school.

So much has changed but the basics are still the basics: you have to learn them to be a good cook.

What’s your teaching style like in the kitchen?

I think the best method is by watching and learning. You watch me do something in the kitchen and then I watch you do it and give feedback and it goes on like that. I learn best by example and so I think the best way to teach is by example, as well.

If there is something that’s really technical and you’ve never tried it before, then I need to show you how it’s done and then you need to do it, so I can make sure you have the techniques down and the steps right.

Do you still keep in touch with any of your old culinary school colleagues from that time?

Social media is a beautiful thing so I’ve been able to keep in touch with a few of my old classmates. One chef actually became the instructor at the school we went to together. He was always really good and so precise so it’s no surprise to see him end up as an instructor; I’m sure his students love him.

What career advice would you give to students who are about to finish culinary school?

My main piece of advice would be don’t wait until you finish school to start your career. If you’re in school, get a job in the kitchen. That way, when you do finish your degree, you’ll have real world experience and truly understand how a kitchen operates. The book knowledge you gain from school, but it can’t replace hands-on time in a professional kitchen.

My other piece of advice would be to make as many friends and connections in the industry as possible, it’s a small community and if you get your name out there as a solid and dedicated chef, it’ll be easier to find good jobs.

So, how did you make the move to becoming a pastry chef?

Well it wasn’t really through school. I took a pastry class but it was just one part of one year of culinary school. It was actually quite a disaster. The first teacher was French and spoke very little English. He became too busy with his job to continue teaching the class so the Department Head Instructor stepped in to finish it for the last several weeks. But he was not a pastry chef and I was lost by that time.

Eventually we all stopped going to class because the French chef didn’t show up. Back in the day, you could just show up and sign the attendance sheet then you could leave, which was the school rule.

But my baking instructor was so on-point. He was old school. He could measure dry ingredients by hand and eye without needing to use a scoop. The experience he had with baking was unmatched so I absolutely loved learning from him.

I took those classes early in my program so for the next three years I avoided going to work in the pastry shop. The pastry chef at the time had a terrible temper, he would bang on things and yell in people’s faces all the time so it was very intimidating for me to go in there.

So, I kind of waited him out. Eventually, by the end of three years, I had to go in and do my turn in the bakery and pastry shop. By that time the old pastry chef had quit and assistant pastry chef had been promoted. 

The new guy was American. He wanted to teach and he was self taught, as well. So, once he really explained things to me and I got to see how the pastry shop was run, it was easy

My chef wanted me to become a line cook but I didn’t really see a career path from the saucier department so I decided to stick with pastries. All the competition and cooking for big banquets just wasn’t for me. 

When I was coming up, there was still a lot of bigotry and our head restaurant chef didn’t really allow the ladies to work on any other stations in the kitchen besides salads or desserts

I was really comfortable with the baking and pastry. The head pastry chef at the time was willing to teach me so I just felt that I could do it and make a career path out of it.

What sets the pastry department apart from the rest of the kitchen?

There’s an old saying about baking vs cooking amongst pastry chefs: baking is a science and cooking is a hobbyYou have to be really precise when you are baking and that’s what scares a lot of people away from going into pastry. You can’t just throw a handful of this or a pinch of that on a whim, you have to use your measurements. 

A lot of people are not used to cooking that way so it can be intimidating. We call recipes formulas, because it really is a science. If you don’t have the yeast right or you kill the starter or the baking soda is not right, you can’t just throw it in–you have to measure that. 

You have to know the difference between dry measurements and liquid measurements and why it’s important not to confuse them. There are a lot of things that real culinary experts should know that many cooks don’t because they don’t bake all the time like pastry chefs do. Whereas, with baking and pastry chefs, we know the difference. 

But I always tell my baking and pastry chefs that it’s important to know the other side of the kitchen because you never know when they might ask you to collaborate on a dish or step in and help. A good pastry chef should know a little bit of everything.

How do you think the restaurant industry is different today from when you started?

The younger generation definitely has a different mindset when it comes to work-life balance. They aren’t willing to give up as much of their time and work the long shifts like we used to do back in the day. So, I think the industry is really going to have to adapt to deal with that change in mentality. Especially considering the staff shortages we’re facing right now.

How did joining the American Culinary Federation help you with your career?

A lot of people ask me whether they should get certified or not, and I always say that certification really does matter. Those initials behind my name have really opened up a lot of doors for me.

When you have that third party validation of your knowledge and your skillset can give you more opportunities and differentiate you from that other line cook or pastry cook who doesn’t have it. 

Being a member of a certified culinary association demonstrates that you are studying and will continue to study because you have to renew it every five years. 

And the connections you make in the industry are priceless. I can go anywhere in the states and meet with other chefs from other chapters to learn from them, try their food, and create relationships in our industry.


The World Association of Chefs’ Societies, known as Worldchefs, is a dynamic global network of 110 chef associations worldwide. A leading voice in the hospitality industry, Worldchefs years of history since its founding in 1928 at the Sorbonne by the venerable Auguste Escoffier. Representing a mobilized international membership of culinary professionals, Worldchefs is committed to advancing the profession and leveraging the influence of the chef jacket for the betterment of the industry and humanity at large.

Worldchefs is dedicated to raising culinary standards and social awareness through these core focus areas:

Education – Worldchefs offers support for education and professional development through the landmark Worldchefs Academy online training program, a diverse network of Worldchefs Education Partners and curriculum, and the world’s first Global Hospitality Certification recognising on-the-job skills in hospitality. 

Networking – Worldchefs connects culinary professionals around the world through their online community platform and provides a gateway for industry networking opportunities through endorsed events and the biennial Worldchefs Congress & Expo.

Competition – Worldchefs sets global standards for competition rules, provides Competition Seminars and assurance of Worldchefs Certified Judges, and operates the prestigious Global Chefs Challenge.

Humanitarianism & Sustainability – Worldchefs Feed the Planet and World Chefs Without Borders programs relieve food poverty, deliver crisis support, and promote sustainability across the globe.

For more information about Worldchefs, visit us at

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Tea Inspiration at Your Fingertips

Tea Inspiration at Your Fingertips
The Dilmah Tea Inspired App

Dilmah tea can be brewed into many culinary masterpieces and now you can have access to over 2000 recipes in the palm of your hand. From tea and cheese pairings to tea gastronomy and mixology recipes, and other experiential tea inspired concepts, this app stirs change with handcrafted tea moments – to elevate guest experiences through revolutionary high tea occasions and more! 

Discover how to ‘tea’-imagine your dining menus for any mood, time and occasion with our app available for iOS and Android devices.  

Download on Android   

Download on iOS


Healthy and Functional Palm-based Cheese Analogue

What is cheese analogue?

A milk cheese alternative that is identical to natural cheese in composition, appearance, features, and even use.

What is the difference between natural cheese and cheese analogue?

Unlike the usual cheeses, cheese analogues are partially or 100% made from vegetable proteins, fats and oils replacing milk protein and milk fat.

How is cheese analogue produced?

1. Firstly, the vegetable fat component (e.g palm oil) is melted and the temperature is raised up to 70°C.

2. Water is then added to the melted fat followed by fast stirring to form an emulsion.

3. Next, the protein component is slowly added to the mixture to develop the desired texture. Salt, flavour compounds and acid are then added as the drop in pH has a strong effect on texture development.

Why are cheese analogues needed in the food industry?

Fast foods and ready-to-eat conventional meals have grown increasingly popular with cheese as one of the preferential ingredients. Dairy-based cheese is more expensive compared to cheese analogue. Cheese analogue is cost effective compared to natural cheese due to the raw materials used. The use of vegetable oils compared to dairy, the low cost of imported casein and the absence of maturation period resulted in a simpler and cheaper manufacturing processes.

Cheese analogue has a diverse array of functionality (flow ability, melt resistance, shred ability, etc.) which is made possible by customised formulations. During storage, they exhibit high functional stability. Moreover, changes in cheese analogue formulation can be made to substitute certain ingredients to fulfil dietary requirements, such as lactose-free, low calorie, low in cholesterol and even vitamin and mineral-enriched.

Do cheese analogues have similar qualities as dairy-based cheeses?

YES. Both dairy-based cheese and cheese analogue are similar in their nutrient profile, organoleptic attributes and their physical appearance. Nowadays, consumers have become completely conscious of the need for better nutrition. Hence, cheese analogues may offer an excellent opportunity to replace a conventional product with a new one that offers the same or better nutritional and texture characteristics.

What is palm-based cheese analogue?

In recent years, to alter sensory, nutritional profile and producing a cholesterol free cheese, vegetable oils are commonly used as milk fat replacers in cheese production. In this case, palm oil and its products are used as milk fat replacer in the production of palm-based cheese analogue. Due to its balanced fatty acids contents, and the presence of natural antioxidants such as tocopherols and tocotrienols that are beneficial towards human health, palm oil is widely used as milk fat replacer in conventional cheese products. In addition to that, many studies have reported the use of palm oil and its products in cheese analogue manufacturing has produced an end product that shows comparable organoleptic attributes with natural cheese, but with better nutrient profile and lower cholesterol contents.

Palm oil is widely used in the production of cheese substitutes such as mozzarella, cream cheese and kashar cheese (sliceable semi-hard cheese). According to Karimah et al. (2001), the use of palm oil in the formulation of mozzarella analogue provides functional properties similar to that of dairy-based mozzarella cheese1. Another study found that palm oil can be used in the production of kashar cheese with higher sensorial scores, making palm oil an acceptable alternative for kashar cheese production that can meet market and consumer’s demand without any significant quality loss2. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has also developed technology to produce palm-based cream cheese analogue that offers functional versatility to the cream cheese analogue, with the end product’s appearance and texture being nearly identical to dairy-based cream cheese, but with an improved nutritional quality3.


1. Karimah A, Aminah A and Mohd Khan A. (2001). Potential of Palm Blend in the Formulation of Mozzarella Analogue. Palm Oil Developments 35: 1-7.

2. Kavak D.D. and Karabiyik H. (2020). Quality Evaluation of Kashar Cheese: Influence of Palm Oil and Ripening Period. Food Science and Technology 40(2): 354-360.

3. Karimah A. (2010). Palm-based Cream Cheese Analogue. MPOB Information Series. ISSN 1511-7871.

Visit Malaysian Palm Oil Council’s website and follow them on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter to learn more about palm oil’s nutritional and economical advantages as well as environmental sustainability.

World Job Post

Chief Instructor (Japanese Cuisine) – Hotel and Tourism Institute / Chinese Culinary Institute / International Culinary Institute

Chief Instructor (Japanese Cuisine) – Hotel and Tourism Institute/Chinese Culinary Institute/International Culinary Institute

International Culinary Institute (ICI)

ICI offers a wide range of quality professional culinary Programmes covering the cuisines of Europe, Mediterranean, Americas, Middle East and Asia as well as Bakery and Confectionary. Please visit for more information of this state-of-the-art Training Institute.

Hotel and Tourism Institute / Chinese Culinary Institute / International Culinary Institute

Chief Instructor (Japanese Cuisine) C/HTI/CI(JC)/03/22- AP2

Major Duties:

  • To plan and support the development of new programmes in Japanese cuisine and to review and enhance the existing courses / programmes to match with the appropriate standards of local and international accreditation bodies;
  • To plan, organise and conduct classes and practical training in Japanese food preparation and compile training related records and statistics;
  • To oversee the operation of the training kitchens, coordinate special training events / functions and culinary competitions which form part of the Integrated Learning Experience of the training programmes;
  • To support the administration for programme affairs, time tabling systems and programme board documentation, student recruitment of training course / programmes;
  • To manage the day-to-day operations as well as staff and resources of the section and to assist in preparing financial estimates;
  • To foster close ties with employers and related professional associations both local and overseas, and to obtain feedback on the relevance of the training courses / programmes;
  • To oversee the procurement, maintenance and commissioning of plants and equipment of the section; and
  • To perform duties related to the effective running of training courses and the daily operations of Training Kitchens.


  • A recognised higher diploma in a relevant discipline, or equivalent;
  • At least 9 years’ work and / or teaching experience in the relevant industry, preferably in hotel and catering industry;
  • Proven supervisory and administrative experience;
  • Proficiency in written and spoken Japanese and preferably with knowledge in English and Cantonese;
  • Proficiency in basic computer software applications; and
  • Ability to pass a trade test.


  • Candidates without the required academic qualification stated in the Requirement (a) but possessing 16 years’ work and / or teaching experience in the relevant industry may also apply. Where applicable, these candidates may be required to have a Qualifications Framework (QF) Level 3 qualification.
  • Candidates with a recognised degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent, and at least 3 years’ work and / or teaching experience in the relevant industry, preferably in hotel and catering industry, may also apply and will be considered for the Assistant Training Consultant rank.
  • The appointee may be required to perform duties outside normal office hours, work on shift over a full 7-day period and in designated places as assigned.
  • In support of the Sexual Conviction Record Check (SCRC) Scheme launched by the Hong Kong Police Force, all prospective appointees will be requested to undergo the SCRC at the advanced stage of the employment process.

Application Procedures:

Interested applicants should apply for this post via email. A completed application form [VTC-1 (Rev. 1/2018)], together with a full curriculum vitae, should be sent to

Candidates should take note of the following:

  • Completed application form (VTC-1) and detailed curriculum vitae (CV) should be combined into one file in PDF format with total file size below 10MB.
  • The file should be saved with name as “your surname and given name”, e.g. “CHAN Tai-man.pdf”.
  • For the email subject, please cite Application for Chief Instructor (Japanese Cuisine) (C/HTI/CI(JC)/03/22- AP2).
  • Original and copy of other supporting documents are to be provided at a later stage upon request.

Closing date for application: May 24, 2022

Applicants not invited for interview within 10 weeks from the closing date may consider their applications unsuccessful.

The Council reserves the right not to fill the post(s).

Personal data collected will be used for recruitment purposes only. Information on unsuccessful candidates will normally be destroyed 12 months after the completion of the recruitment exercise.

  • Advertised: April 27, 2022
  • Application close: May 24, 2022

To search this job and thousands more, create your free Worldchefs online account!

Want to post a job with Worldchefs? Get in touch!


Does adding natural antioxidants in cooking oil help?

Cooking oils have been around for most of human history. It is indisputably a fantastic medium used to transfer heat to food, facilitating cooking processes. As the food is being cooked, the oils help to enhance the qualities of the food making it more palatable and appealing to us. We fry, bake, and grill foods with oils, with the intention to relish our desire for crispy, and crunchy food textures. Let’s be honest, without cooking oils, not only will we compromise the texture of our home-cooked delicacies, but also the taste. In general, a cook would admit that cooking oils help to enhance the texture, taste, and flavour of food. Besides that, cooking oils provide the calories we need to run our day-to-day affairs and some of them are actually rich in fat-soluble vitamins. Palm oil for example, is rich in Vitamin E tocotrienols .Without the administration of fats or oils into our body, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K may not enter our system and nourish us with its many benefits. This is why we should not underestimate our cooking oils as they help facilitate the vitamins’ absorption.

Unfortunately, as heat is transferred to foods during cooking, undesirable chemical reactions occur.  For example, during the frying process, hydrolysis, oxidation, and polymerisation take place. These reactions result in the formation of volatile and non-volatile compounds that can lower oxidative stability, thereby the quality of both oil and food. Unpleasant odours, flavours, and colours can be imparted to the food as well as the oil, and also limit the re-use of the oil (Choe and Min, 2007). However, this can be slowed down or prevented entirely by adding antioxidants to the frying oils (Che and Tan,1999).

What does an antioxidant do?

An antioxidant interrupts the oxidation process by stabilizing fatty acid, which makes them less reactive with oxygen. Surprisingly, natural ingredients like herbs contain numerous phenolic compounds which may act as antioxidants (Kaur and Kapoor, 2002). Additionally, it was discovered (Negishi et al. , 2003) that natural antioxidants such as those from the extracts of rosemary, tea, sage, oregano, and barley seeds have high antioxidant activity at frying conditions, thus effective in slowing down these undesirable chemical reactions.

It has been reported that compounds such as tocopherols, carotenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, and diarylheptanoids found in herbs interact with existing tocopherols and tocotrienols in palm oil that may cause an effect that enables the oil to last longer. Pandan leaves, kaffir lime leaves, curry leaves and turmeric leaves have shown antioxidant effects towards palm oil during frying (Idris et al.,2008). Nor et al. (2008) tested the effects of using pandan leaf extract as antioxidant on palm oil during deep-frying. Oxidation of the palm oil used decreased with an increase in the concentration of pandan extract in the oil. The study demonstrated that the addition of a natural antioxidant such as pandan, enhances oxidative stability of cooking oil during deep-frying.

In another study by Hamad et al. (2017), it was found that palm oil fortified with turmeric spice had the highest value of phenolic compounds compared to palm oil fortified with paprika, thyme, and cumin. Phenolic compounds are plant-derived compounds that possess high antioxidant activity and other benefits such as antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.  Tumeric contains a compound called curcumin which has been shown to exhibit antioxidant properties and thus has the potential to fight against various diseases. Overall the same study showed that oxidation stability increased after treatment of palm oil with turmeric, paprika, thyme, and cumin. The study proves that the addition of natural antioxidants in cooking oil especially palm oil would help with the improvement of cooking processes and overall quality of the food and oil.

Antioxidants found in palm oil

Vitamin E tocotrienols is abundantly found in palm oil and its derivatives especially red palm oil. Vitamin E tocotrienols is an excellent antioxidant that has been proven to provide multiple health benefits such as neuroprotection, inhibition of cancer cells proliferation, protection against bone disease as well as prevention of oxidative reaction on skin and hair. And research studies done on palm oil derived tocotrienols have proven these benefits. Carotenoids, a compound that will be converted to Vitamin A when consumed, is another antioxidant abundantly found in red palm oil. It’s what gives the red palm oil its rich orangey red colour. Red palm oil can be used for low heat cooking processes such as shallow frying and even incorporated in mixtures to make baked goods. In fact, red palm oil, which comes from the flesh of the oil palm fruit, contains the most carotenoids in comparison to other fruits and vegetables.

Evidently, with the presence of antioxidants such as Vitamin E tocotrienols and carotenoids, palm oil is already a stable cooking oil to begin with. The addition of natural antioxidants that interact with antioxidants found in palm oil will definitely enhance the cooking oil’s oxidative stability and further improve cooking qualities. Furthermore, palm oil is incredibly versatile and can be used for various food applications. And this is contributed by its thermal and oxidative stability. Palm oil is used for making shortening, dairy fat replacer, margarine, Vanaspati, ice cream, vitamin E supplement, cooking oil, and cocoa butter substitute.


  1. Che Man Y. B., Tan C. P. (1999). J American Oil Chemists’ Society 76: 331-339.
  2. Choe E., and Min D. B. (2007).J Food Science.72(5): 77-86.
  3. Hamad, M. N. F., Taha, E. M., Mohamed, W. M. (2017). Indian J Dairy Sci, 70, 1.
  4. Idris, N. A., Fatihanim, M. N., Razali, I., Suhaila, M. and Hassan, C. Z. (2008). In Proceedings of Product Development and Nutrition Conference: PIPOC 2007 International Palm Oil Congress: Palm Oil: Empowering Change. Malaysian Palm Oil Board.
  5. Kaur, C., and Kapoor, H.C. (2002). International Journal of Food Science & Technology. 37. 153 – 161. 10.1046/j.1365-2621.2002.00552.x.
  6. Negishi H., Nishida M., Endo Y., Fujimoto K. (2003) .J American Oil Chemists’ Society .80: 163-166.
  7. Nor F. M., Mohamed S., Idris N. A., Ismail R. (2008). Food Chemistry.110: 319-327.

Visit Malaysian Palm Oil Council’s website and follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to learn more about palm oil’s nutritional and economical advantages as well as environmental sustainability.


Hospitality Graduates in High Demand Outside of Traditional Roles

Service management is the new buzzword on the business scene, and is destined to become one of the most sought after skill sets across business sectors, says an education expert.

Corporate sector companies are increasingly appointing Hospitality Management graduates to senior positions outside of their traditional roles, particularly due to their ability to interface effectively with the public and handle diverse crises, an education expert says.

“In the wake of the pandemic and lockdown measures, the hospitality and service management industry has grown and evolved tremendously, and to paraphrase the famous saying – reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated,” says Candice Adams, Academic Development Manager at The IIE School of Hospitality and Service Management, a brand of ADvTECH, Africa’s largest private education provider.

Adams says that in recent years, the definition of hospitality evolved beyond the traditional one of receiving and welcoming guests and visitors and provisioning services in traditional hospitality environments such as hotels and restaurants.

“Customer-centricity has evolved, building a whole new perception of what it means to live and work in the ‘hospitality industry’,” she says.

“Due to an increase in expectations regarding what constitutes good customer service on the part of the general public, a wide range of companies look for those leaders who have a track record of being able to fulfil the needs and demands of their customers, and a hospitality management background is emerging as just the qualification that encapsulates the diverse range of skills required to do so.”

Candice Adams, Academic Development Manager at The IIE School of Hospitality and Service Management

Adams says that this broadening of the understanding on the part of employers, of the skillset held by Hospitality Management graduates, is translating into opening an abundance of career opportunities for graduates.

“Service management is the new buzzword on the business scene, and is destined to become one of the most sought after skill sets across business sectors as businesses adapt their strategies to differentiate themselves from their local and international competitors following the pandemic and the massive acceleration in globalisation that has resulted.”

New job titles and roles are being created in businesses – focusing on guiding, supervising, curating or managing the customer journey – such as customer success consultants / managers, customer experience consultants, customer relationship managers, client services representatives, service managers, customer value representatives, and client innovations representatives/ managers to name but a few. 

“Additionally, in the traditional hospitality industry, we are seeing that change is happening faster than ever before. The travel industry is one of the largest and most influential on earth, and is starting to pick up again globally, not just locally. While we may not be at the point of beds that make themselves or self-cleaning bathrooms, technology and innovation are bringing new and exciting changes for hoteliers and guests. 

“In addition to forward-thinking hotel tech, we’re seeing changes to the workforce and work culture, shifting guest preferences, and an increased focus on eco-friendliness.”

So what will the hotel of the future look like?

“Based on research focusing on new trends, hotel designs will be a lot less big box and a lot more out of the box,” says Adams.

“Hotel design trends now show a different approach, focusing on art, community, and uniqueness. In some hotels, the space itself is what drives uniqueness, with creative lobby ideas or public areas that showcase nature, for example.”

The internet of things is spreading not only into homes, but also into hotel rooms, adds Adams.

From access to streaming services to a room key on your smartphone, the essential hotel amenities in a guestroom are becoming increasingly digital.  Guests want concierge services or temperature controls at the push of a button (or tap of a finger), and voice-activated controls are expanding beyond simply asking Siri / Google or Alexa to play your favourite song. These trends might sound futuristic, but it won’t be long before guests will expect them, rather than these features being a nice-to-have.

“These automations aren’t going to automate themselves. Ensuring that the hospitality experience – whether in restaurants, for functions, or hotel stays – continue to deliver and delight, will always require a human with the right skills and leadership qualities.

“So for those students interested in studying Hospitality and Service Management, the message is clear – your options are good and growing not just in the traditional environment, but are also expanding into other career paths with great prospects.”

This article was originally published by the South African Chefs Association.

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You can hear more from South Africa on World on a Plate. Tune in to Episode 31: The Tipping Point with James Khoza, President of the South African Chefs Association


How to Teach a Generation Z Student

How to Teach a Generation Z Student

This article was originally published in Issue 29 of the SA Chefs Magazine.

Elsu Gericke, Head of Education and Development at SA Chefs, has some advice on how to train and work with our future culinary leaders.

Training institutions across the country are gearing up to receive a fresh intake of eager students in 2022. The uncertainty and loss of the last couple of years are still weighing heavy on the minds of our future culinary leaders, and yet these students are still determined to follow their dreams and make their mark in kitchens around the globe. I wanted to have a look at who these young chefs are and highlight some of their generation’s characteristics to better understand how they learn and what we can expect from them during their training and in our workplaces.


Generation Z is the first true digital native generation. Born into a world where the internet and smartphones are the norm, this generation relies heavily on information from the internet and social media for everything from food choices, research, and trends. The list goes on, but where has it gone wrong? Kale has faced a lot of backlash from health professionals, claiming that eating raw kale is not good for you and could be the most contaminated vegetable on supermarket shelves. A study revealed about 60% of kale samples tested positive for a type of human carcinogenic, featuring on The Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list. Furthermore, according to the IIN kale’s nutrient-dense profile may also affect the thyroid, blood-clotting and function of the gut. So, for those with related health conditions, there really can be too much of a good thing.


Kelp is not a staple in Western cultures like it has been for many years in Japan and across Asia, but this could be about to change. A strong As the most diverse generation to date, Gen Z easily relate to people of all races, religions and backgrounds and they not only welcome it but expect it in their professional and personal lives.


They have witnessed their parents struggle financially during the 2007 to 2009 recession as well as the current Covid pandemic. As their families prioritised financial health over professional fulfilment, they crave security – and their choices reflect this.


Entrepreneurship and a desire for independence is at an all-time high. Many members of this generation have seen how quickly a job can be lost, even one with a seemingly stable company. As a result, they’re choosing career paths that will pave the way to self-employment. Several other traits also influence the way these students behave and absorb ideas – these include environmental consciousness, a desire for human interaction and taking care of their mental health.


Taking all of these factors into account, lecturers and training providers can adopt various teaching methods to ensure their culinary students stay engaged and ultimately become the chefs we want them to be.
• Communicate continuously and provide immediate feedback.
• Allow them to bring their devices into the classroom or kitchen. Gen Z students see them as an extension of their hands, so use it to your advantage.
• Provide smaller, more frequent projects and assessments.
• Personalise the learning content.
• Beware – they will tune out if they are not engaged.

Our industry and the future of our culinary world lies in the hands of this generation and by learning who they are and what makes them tick we are bound to have an incredible talent pool soon. On behalf of the Education Committee of SA Chefs, I would like to welcome all new culinary students and wish all returning students a very happy and prosperous 2022. We look forward to sharing a year full of information sharing, engagement and opportunity with you.

Check out SA Chef Issue 29

We get hooked on sustainable seafood, find out what it takes to be a private chef, check out what’s cooking at The Spade in Khayelitsha, and more.

You can hear more from South Africa on World on a Plate. Tune in to Episode 31: The Tipping Point with James Khoza, President of the South African Chefs Association

Blog Career Tips

Chef of the High Seas: “get out and see the world!”

Alastair Gillot, Worldchefs Executive Chef Recipient, DJ, and entrepreneur, has seen and sailed the world many times over as part of his long and varied career. In his interview with Hosco, we dive into his roots in the UK, how he travelled the world as a chef (and a DJ), alongside discovering his passion for ingredients, cooking, and living the good life with his family, these days in Brazil.

How did a lad from Mansfield get to be Executive Chef of a Caribbean Island?

I’ve always travelled, I’ve always been restless. I went to catering college for one day. I was working in a chain called Periquito Hotels in Kettering town at the time. I got to college and there were 12 students. The professor gave us a chicken and said, “Can you prep the pieces ready for sautéing?” And I said, “But it’s only eight pieces to sauté: the breasts, the thighs, the drumsticks, the wings… how are 12 people supposed to do that?” 

He told me to leave his class. I never went back. An auspicious start if there ever was one in the catering profession! I went back to my chef and mentioned that it hadn’t gone very well. I told him “I’m just gonna have to watch everything you do and learn everything from you.” And I did, and that’s how I started. 

From there I went travelling through all of Central America and up through The States. I spent five years looking at food around the world and DJing, then I came home and started climbing the ranks, with next stop as demi chef de partie at the Northampton Hilton, then London, The Midlands, Sheffield… and Blackpool for my sins.

When did you get to truly unleash your creativity?

When I was in Norfolk. I worked at a Golf Club and Resort. I was the chef that got them their two rosettes on the menu. Our signature dish was called The Sweet Shop. I took all my favourite childhood candies.  We made a Black Jack parfait, a Curly Wurly chocolate fondant. We made Hubba Bubba ice cream wrapped in space dust served in a chocolate cup as a play on the senses. When people put the ice cream in their mouth, it cracked and then they were chewing ice cream because their brain was telling them it was bubblegum. And then we had a clear raspberry jelly. And inside was a jelly baby. 

Remember the flying saucers made of rice paper? We sat one on top and we set it all out on a long glass platter. I made turkey and bacon ice cream. We served it on a cranberry tart. It was really weird, but people kind of dug it. We were working 17 hours a day in a kitchen because the golf clubs offer inclusive packages. Trying to maintain two rosettes on an inclusive package is pretty intense. 

When did you trade fine dining for feijoada and the high seas?

I had a kind of epiphany in the park one day in Blackpool with my two kids and I realized it was really no place for me to raise my family. My wife is Brazilian and I basically packed her off back to Brazil and stayed till the house sold before heading off to join them. 

I got a bit of a culture shock when I arrived and saw what chefs get paid, so I approached Royal Caribbean. I’d always been interested in cruise ships. I wish I’d done it earlier to be honest. I joined as a sous chef for Royal Caribbean Executive on the Anthem of the Seas, and did a four-month contract. What an eye-opener. 

I joined the Explorer of the seas in Australia as executive sous. Halfway through the contact, the chef got sick and he had to go home. So, they set me up to run it and I kept all the ratings in gold. Then I basically hopped ship – from the Independence of the Seas to the Brilliance of the Seas, the Explorer of the Seas… It was all going swimmingly and then….

Chef Alastair Gillott

Then the pandemic hit…?

Yeah. I was one of the last to leave the ship before it went into cold layup. So, I had a lot of work to do emptying all the bars, stock counting, looking after the eighty crew on board and feeding them three or four times a day. I left in July 2020. 

I taught myself how to make handmade sushi but I couldn’t even get wakami here in Brazil without paying astronomical prices. I looked around on iFood – which is like Just Eat and everything’s pizza burger, pizza burger, pizza burger. So, I put “chicken wings” into iFood. Not one restaurant sold chicken wings. 

So, then I decided I was going to do chicken wings because I’m very good at chicken wings. We opened a business, we joined iFood, we got planning permission and I did seven kinds of wings, all served with sides. It did really well and then I realized that iFood and the tax man were absolutely killing me. So, I shut it down.

And for your next trick, Maestro?

I got a phone call from Coco Cay, the biggest water park in The Bahamas, owned by Royal Caribbean. And now I’m Executive Chef on an island in the middle of The Bahamas. 

It’s an amazing island, it’s got everything you can imagine: jet-skiing, snorkelling, diving and the sunset every day is mind-blowing… I’m a sunset and sunrise fanatic. I think the simplicity of things like that are amazing. I get up, take my coffee and watch the sun come up. 

Then I start my day and welcome the Royal Caribbean ships in, start the food, get everything going. There’s 11 outlets on the islands, it’s a busy place. You’re up at 5:00am every day, finishing at 7 at night and up again at 5:00am. You don’t really get a day off, because even if there’s a day the ship doesn’t come in, you’ve still got 450 crew to feed breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus specials. 

I look after the fine dining place – The Coco Beach Club. It’s an amazing place to work. I’m very lucky. Royal Caribbean are bringing out new, bigger, better ships. They just put out the Wonder of the Seas, which is the biggest ship in the world. I’ll see her in March on the island. 

Any rock-star moments you can share?

When you’re a chef on a ship, you are a rock star. I hold the Guinness World Record for the largest pasta tasting at sea. When you cross from England to America and back, you’ve got people on board for 15 days so you have to come up with experiences. The Hotel Director I was working for was a British guy called Paul Smith, who’s a genius, and he said, “We’re gonna have an English fete on the open deck at sea, with sausage rolls and pork pies and all the games and finish with horse racing.” 

And then he said, “We’re going to do a record breaker.” There’s no world record for a pasta tasting at sea. So, we set it. We had 457 people for a three-course pasta tasting at sea. We made some good gnocchi, an orecchiette and spaghetti aioli with fresh chili flakes, plus all the antipasti… breadsticks and homemade focaccia from our bakery. 

We even had ice-carvers on my ship. We were doing ice carvings and luges and all sorts. For the last night, we had a midnight buffet. I decorated my dessert buffet with ice carvings and double chocolate fountains, and all these desserts and different arrangements right in the heart of the ship. People on all 11 decks were looking down, taking pictures of our display and then we took everything away and let them go nuts at the buffet.

I believe that life is a series of moments we make and those moments create our experiences. From day one to the time you retire, you should be making moments and experiences. So, my advice is: get on ships and see the world.

To learn more about how Global Hospitality Certification can benefit your organization, school, or career, visit

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Tune in to our webinar: “Certification 101” for an introduction to Global Hospitality Certification. Learn about the different levels of Certification available to chefs, the steps for completing an application, and the overall benefits. By the end of this webinar, you’ll feel confident enough to apply!

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