Your chance to experience Chinese cuisine firsthand

HAVE you ever wondered why Chinese tea tastes best when slurped?

Tony Ching will be offering Chinese food discovery tours as part of this year's Chinese New Year Celebrations to let the region's residents in on some of the secrets of Asian cuisine.

Tony said he learnt a lot about Asian cuisine from his parents at home before going on to gain 35 years' experience as an executive chef in 4 and 5 star international hotels.

"The Chinese food discovery tour will include tips on how to find the right ingredients at supermarkets and local Asian grocers, provide insights in to Asian eating customs and end with a taste test of Asian food," Tony said.

"For people who haven't been exposed to it, Asian cuisine can be a minefield. People often ask how to use the flavours and in what quantities.

"The shopping tours are an opportunity for people to see where all of the flavours are coming from and how to combine the right ingredients to develop that flavour."

Tony, who also conducts shopping tours in Sunnybank, said with an increase in people travelling overseas, a lot more people were trying to reproduce international cuisine at home.

"The trick is adjusting recipes to suit local ingredients when you get back home so you can mimic that cuisine.

"Asian cuisine can be quite difficult to do sometimes as there are no 'set' recipes.

"There has been a groundswell for home cooking in recent times for the health benefits but recreating these dishes at home also offers the self-satisfaction of making something new and delicious for your family."

He encouraged anyone with an interest in the basics of Asian cuisine and eating customs to come along.

"It is an educational tour based on Asian culture and taste-wise it's something new for people to try."

The tours will be offered from Wednesday, February 10 to Friday, February 12, departing at 10.30am each day. There will be an additional evening tour on Thursday, February 11 departing at 6pm. Tickets are $39 per person and include the guided tour and a light meal. Tours depart from outside Woolworths, Hinkler Central.

Bookings for the Chinese food discovery tours can be made by calling the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre on 4130 4100.

While in town, Tony will also conduct cooking demonstrations at Hinkler Central (adjacent to Athletes Foot) at 12.30pm on Monday, February 8 and Tuesday, February 9.