Most modern Australian menus have some sort of Asian influence, unless the restaurant has been specifically identified as a cuisine such as French or Italian. Even French chefs, such as Jacques Raymond had Japanese influences on some dishes at his flagship restaurant that carried his name.
Training organisations and chef trainers should consider the unit SITHASC001 Prepare dishes using basic methods of Asian cookery as an elective for students studying commercial cookery. A basic grounding and understanding of Asian cookery will be a valuable asset once the students starts working in contemporary Australian restaurants. This unit not only describes the cuisines and well-known dishes of the main Asian countries, it also covers Asian ingredients, Asian herbs, Asian spices, Asian fruits, cooking methods and the cooking equipment used in Asian restaurants.
Asian flavours and dishes are very different from classical European cookery, so study of this unit offers a great contrast and point of discussion with cookery students. Students may also get the opportunity to be creative and create a fusion style dish in one of the practical classes or the menu development lessons. All modern cooks need at least a basic understanding of Asian food to work as a well-rounded cook or chef. I believe the training period is a good place to start with use of this training unit as an elective.