Sunday, July 19, 2009

With my Masters in Gastronomy in the bag, I say hello to Cooking School at TAFE, SA

July 2009 is proving to be an incredibly important month for me, marking two major milestones. The submission of my dissertation: Marketing South Australian Wine Tourism to High End Indians – a labour of sheer dedication and persistence that has been six months in the making, signals the completion of my Le Cordon Bleu, Masters of Gastronomy Programme. The paper argues South Australian wine tourism presents enormous potential for the affluent, “high end” Indian tourist market, which so far is an untapped niche. The crux of my arguments is based on the fact that high end Indians with aspirational and ostentatious characteristics, display clear consumption patterns including shopping, travelling, eating and drinking that make them an enticing economic prospect for the South Australian wine tourism market.

Following a thorough review of literature in the field of wine tourism, cross cultural and behavioural studies, marketing, principal concepts and approaches to studying wine tourism are developed in relation to “experience”, “lifestyle” and the development of “destination branding”. All of this is complemented by survey research I carried out at wineries in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia, which provided data to support my hypothesis. What I found was that current tourism sector lacks the appropriate development in the form of an internationally intensive, penetrating destination branding campaign supported by efficient infrastructure, activities on offer and bundling of attractions. Thus, my dissertation concludes by noting high end Indians belong to a category of “transnational” tourists, whose consumer behaviour tends to be based on their interests, tastes and social position (as opposed to ethnicity or race), making them representative of a new affluent class of gastro-tourists, making my dissertation all the more pertinent to the study of what is a burgeoning field of social activity.

As one door closes, another one opens. Tomorrow I begin my first day of what will be a year long journey at TAFE Regency Park’s cooking school, pursuing the Certificate III in Hospitality – Commercial Cookery Course. I am eager to hone my raw, barely existent culinary skills and develop my enormous passion for food by learning everything from scratch including basic kitchen safety and security, knife skills, how to work a pan like a professional, to preparing sauces, stocks, soups, appetisers, salads, poultry, meat, seafood, pastries, cakes and yeast goods.

As you can see through my recently documented cooking escapades, I have become immersed in the world of cooking be it simply following a reliable recipe, developing new techniques, utilising unfamiliar ingredients, reaching back to my roots for inspiration or experimenting wildly. This has been a conscious effort to build up my confidence in the kitchen and spur on a new dimension to my insatiable love for food. I hope this hands-on cooking school experience will not only bolster my writing giving it depth and dimension, but that it will also foster a whole rounded understanding of food giving me a paddock to plate perspective by inculcating culinary knowledge from a grassroots level. One thing is for sure, there will be many more culinary adventures to be had with cooking school snippets in the future... so stay tuned!

To balance all the extravagant eating I have been doing, the gym continues to be a religious daily routine. In fact the last two months I have been teaching Spin classes (a one hour intensive cardio group exercise workout on indoor bikes that simulates an outside cross-terrain ride, coordinated to music with structured tempo) at the University of Adelaide Gym on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

1 comment:

Cari said...

WOW!! Babe, you got it goin ON!! Will you email me your finished diss? Would LOVE to read it. GOOD LUCK with TAFE - you're gonna rock it. xoxoxoxoxo