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China Trip a Lesson in Cuisine Traditions for Sodexo Dining Team

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     Chef Grayson gets hands-on training in Shenyang at Laobian, China’s most famous dumpling house.  Courtesy photo
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     Dumplings at Laobian.  Courtesy photo
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     William & Mary chefs with their counterparts at Hong Kong University in Kowloon.  Courtesy photo
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by Mike Buzalka

A “friendship bridge” program conceived by the William & Mary (W&M) University Chinese Parents Association sent the university’s Sodexo dining team to visit their culinary counterparts in multiple locations in Hong Kong and The People’s Republic of China over the summer.  The team included Campus Executive Chef Timothy Grayson, Catering Executive Chef Craig Stevens, Sadler Executive Chef Gregory Weaver and Commons Executive Chef Stephen Moore.

The goal of the friendship bridge program is to provide Chinese students at W&M a greater opportunity to enjoy authentic Chinese dishes in the current dining program menu mix. The team visited Hong Kong, Shenyang, Shanghai, Beijing, and the Shenzhen and Guangzhou regions of China for hands-on training.

The first stop was Shenyang, where the father of W&M student Haorin Wang taught the team to make filled dumplings and noodles from scratch in Shenyang, a Liobian dumpling restaurant that has been making dumplings in the same location for 160 years.

After a one-day visit to Beijing, the culinary team headed to Hong Kong to meet with Sodexo China, which has 13,000 employees at over 550 sites in 50 cities and serves over a million consumers daily throughout China. Sodexo Hong Kong is now helping to organize a plan to bring a local Chinese chef in return to visit W&M.