From Double Bay to Dubbo for Vietnamese cooking


From Double Bay to Dubbo for Vietnamese cooking

 One of the participants in Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana’s recent Regional Skills Outlook survey was local eatery owner Linh Nguyen, who runs the Lotus Café in Dubbo with her husband Nhan Tran.

The Unravelling the Skills of the Future for the Orana Region project was a study of workforce demands, business barriers, present and future skills shortages, recruitment and retention, exports and innovations, and training and growth.

Linh believes there are definite gaps in the hospitality industry and has recently struggled to employ qualified staff specialising in preparation of Vietnamese cuisine.

“I need Vietnamese cooks but there is a very limited field of people with those skills willing to move here,” she said.

Linh advertised in Sydney, targeting the Vietnamese community, but said that people who were qualified to fill the role were unwilling to move to a regional area such as Dubbo.

“There were a lot of enquiries but many people thought that it was Double Bay.

“People are reluctant to come out this way because they are far away from their community.”

Linh pointed out that those with experience in Vietnamese cookery did not need to have Vietnamese heritage.

“We need to create more interest in people wanting to learn about different cuisines, we need to create more awareness,” she said.

“I would love to see courses introduced at TAFE. Looking at the situation, I’ve identified what we can do and that is to create interest in different cuisines.”

The Lotus Café offers a mix of baked pastries and Vietnamese-style stir fries and soups, along with some Australian-style food.

As one of the participants in the recent RDA survey, Linh will host a special morning tea, with funds raised from the survey being donated to Stage 2 of the Macquarie Home Stay project.

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