by Diane VanDyke
Chef Francine Marz, director of The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College, will be joining chefs from around the globe to share cuisine and culture at the 15th Annual Chinese Food Festival and International Gourmet Expo in Wuhan, China, Sept. 22-26.
A combined effort of the China Hotel Association, Wuhan Government and International Hotel & Restaurant Association, the festival and expo are considered the most influential large-scale restaurant industry exhibitions in China. The 40,000-plus square meter exhibition will feature more than 30,000 professionals from approximately 2,000 hotels and restaurants. About one million visitors are expected to attend the three-day event.
“While in China, I will be meeting many professional chefs and experiencing cuisine from around the world,” Marz said. “I will be able to bring new dishes and cooking techniques back to our classrooms at the Culinary Arts Institute to share with students and broaden their culinary knowledge.”
For the expo, famous chef masters will showcase their cooking skills while restaurants and hotels will share their signature dishes and experts will discuss the developing trends of the food industry.
Chef Marz plans to travel to Beijing on Sept. 18 to begin preparing for the exhibition. She will be cooking at least eight unique specialty dishes for each table representing the countries of Italy and Mexico. After cooking, the dish will be glazed in aspic (gelatin) and displayed for the exhibition.
Following the exhibition, Chef Marz will continue her stay in China to visit numerous kitchens and restaurants with stops in Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai. During the exhibition and her travels, she will blogging about her experience, as well as tweeting about her trip and posting photos on Facebook. To follow Chef Marz, visit whatscookingatcai.wordpress.com.
“I want to promote study abroad opportunities for our students by sharing my experiences through social media,” said Chef Marz, who has spent most of her career traveling through the United States and learning about the foods from different areas. “I would also like our students to travel as part of their culinary education and training, and hopefully, I am able to inspire them to explore this avenue. Food brings people together, and it’s amazing how quickly you can connect with others when you take the time to enjoy their cuisine.”