March 7, 2013 - 8:28am

Transport your taste buds to the streets of Asia, where talented chefs cook up dishes bursting with spice and flavor, from ‘kitchens’ attached to the backs of bicycles or street carts.

VIU’s Culinary students will be preparing ‘street fare’ dishes from across the Asian continent at the South Asian Street Food and Hawker Stall Reception, being held in the upper cafeteria on Nanaimo’s campus from 5:30-8pm, March 15. The goal is to raise funds for student field trips and competitions.

“It’s been an idea floating around our department for some time,” says Chef Jason Lloyd, an instructor in the Culinary Arts department. “We felt it would be a fun, unique way to do a fundraiser. It will be a stand-up reception so guests can wander from stall to stall, mingling with the student chefs and other guests, while sampling a wide variety of delicious food and drink.”

Some of the students are preparing food from their home countries. For example Arun Sobharaj, comes from a small town in India where one of the specialties is *mutter paneer*, a rich curry made with homemade cheese and fresh peas and served with piping hot naan bread. Students Kevin Wang and Erin Xu will tempt guests with dishes from China, including steamed dumplings, sweet potato spring rolls and pan friend gyoza. Chef Jenny, an instructor in the department, will channel her Vietnamese roots, preparing lemon grass chicken with *nuoc cham*, a traditional sauce that satisfies all the taste buds, with its salty, sour, sweet and spicy flavours. The evening will also include tasty dishes from Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia and everything will be accompanied with beverages from the cash bar.

Guests can bid on one-of-a-kind silent auction items, too, including gift certificates to local restaurants such as Jar, owned by culinary celebrity and VIU alumnus David Wong; products from the House of Knives; a basket of goodies from St Jean’s Cannery, and dinner for four catered by none other than Chef Jason Lloyd.

“Our goal is to make people feel they are wandering down a street in one of these countries, sampling the different food,” says Josephine Chong, ‘Chef Mom’ for the department and one of the key organizers for this event. “So we’d like to encourage our guests to wear traditional clothing from these different countries, just to add to the authentic feel.”

Tickets for the event are $35, payable by credit card (non-refundable), and reservations are necessary. Contact Josephine Chong at or 250.740.6289.

Tags: In the Community

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