Ecological State Banquet 01 "A group of chefs support a group of farmers!" Going out of the kitchen to the producing area, the ecological chef returned to the original idea of cooking.

Published: 2024-06-24 Author: mysheen
Last Updated: 2024/06/24, Ecological State Banquet 01 "A group of chefs support a group of farmers!" Going out of the kitchen to the producing area, the ecological chef returned to the original idea of cooking.


The New year dishes of the ecological state banquet come out, so that the people of Taiwan can eat a mouthful together! The Taiwan Ecological Chef Program, launched by Wu Xiujuan and Ma Aiyun, has been three years old, with more than 150 participating chefs, calling on all chefs from Taiwan to go to the countryside and into the producing area to learn about friendly crops, livestock and fishery products, and links with local residents, and to use local ingredients to integrate local culture and environmental elements to design menus, so that the general public can support environment-friendly crops through "eating."

This time, the ecological chef designed the state banquet with the theme of six counties and cities in Taiwan, and three counties and cities, Yunlin, Nantou and Changhua, even launched New year's dishes, which were produced by Xiao Zhiyou, Chimu TAIKO, Yangluduan Shaoxin and Xie Yide, and Li Yiyan, the No. 1 island kitchen. The three chefs who participated in the ecological chef course all said that cooking with crops grown on friendly land would make a contribution to agriculture, and cooking would be particularly meaningful.

Ecological State Banquet New year Food presentation (Photo / Lin Yijun) the chef came out of the kitchen and brought back Taiwan's delicious food one mouthful at a time.

Taiwan's Eco-Chef Project, launched by Wu Xiujuan and Ma Aiyun, originated from Typhoon Niebert that hit Taitung in 2016. Wu Xiujuan produced the documentary "Abby from the Sunrise in the Pacific" to help affected organic coffee farmers. In the course of filming, she saw the local use of "multi-level cash crop cultivation under the forest." this agricultural method can protect hillside land and allow farmers to have a harvest. Wu Xiujuan then invited Ma Aiyun to take the wild vegetables grown by this agricultural method around the island and explain the importance of this wild vegetable to 18 schools.

During the period around the island, Wu Xiujuan and Ma Aiyun discovered that environment-friendly agricultural methods could enable farmers to maintain their health in the process of farming and take into account the sustainability of the environment. The people who use food to bridge the land, farmers and the general public are "cooks." So the two men raised funds to formally promote the "Taiwan Ecological Chef" program in 2018.

The content of the plan is to turn "ecology, environmental protection, agriculture, and humanities" into a course to recruit chefs who are willing to learn about sustainable diet. after screening, they will begin to train "Taiwan ecological chefs" with a total of 12 to 20 people at a time. The course is completely free, but ecological chefs must participate in the promotion of sustainable diet in Taiwan all their lives, which includes three areas: "business, public welfare, and education."

So far, Taiwan Ecological Chef has completed 10 courses, involving more than 150 chefs, 39 of whom are from aboriginal tribes. The chef's background covers small and medium-sized restaurants, chain restaurants, one-person dessert studio, private kitchen studio, five-star hotel, etc.; cuisine includes Chinese and Western-Japanese style, hand-made fermentation and brewing, braised food, bento design and development. In order to thoroughly practice the concept, Wu Xiujuan and Ma Aiyun "carry" all the utensils and bowls and chopsticks during the course, without using any disposable tableware.

Ecological chef outdoor course, after study with local ingredients (photo source / Wu Xiujuan) course does not teach cooking, learn "cuisine spirit"

The course content of ecological chef is quite different from that of catering school. Li Yiyan, head chef of the No. 1 Island Kitchen operator, said that no cooking skills were taught in the course, but each course had a specific theme and was conducted on a farm or tribe. "when you enter the origin, you will see a lot of ingredients that you don't normally see in the vegetable market." the locals will also teach us how to use it. " After learning, the chef will also think about how to use it in the cuisine of his own restaurant, which is "business promotion".

If you don't teach cooking, what on earth are you doing in class? Xiao Zhiyou, executive chef of Chanxin Folk Creative Cuisine, said that the course discusses current agricultural, ecological, environmental, and cultural issues, such as the differences between customary agricultural laws and organic and natural agricultural laws. What is most impressive is the communication between people. "using on-site ingredients to cook for the local people is very different from the usual work in the infield, and it is a great affirmation to the chef to see that the food they have cooked has been eaten up."

In addition to participating in the course himself, Hsiao Chih-you also takes his friends in the shop to the countryside, elementary school or community charity cooking. "it's easy to simply cook, but you have to have the spirit of an ecological cook." The righteous cooking process uses local ingredients and dishes with local characteristics, so that companions can gain a sense of achievement in cooking and find the meaning of being a chef. This is a "public welfare promotion".

Exchanges with the place of origin had a profound impact on chefs. Chi Mu TAIKO and Yeokuduan Shao Yi-hsin and Hsieh Yi-teh recalled that when they were taking classes in the Nantou tribe, a group of chefs followed the Atayal people in the mountains to learn and collect, and their horizons were wide open. "once they walked, they would stop to recognize plants, and some looked like weeds, but they could eat them." Then he also brought his in-store partners to class to experience the farmer's production process. "later, I heard my partners remind each other in the store: 'food should be dug up and not wasted. Farmers work very hard in farming!'"