Vietnamese voyage – TUCO goes international

By Matthew White, Chair of the University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and Director of Catering, Hotel and Conferencing at The University of Reading

It’s exciting to think as you read this that many of our members will be immersed in an exciting culinary experience on our latest TUCO Academy study tour in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Starting in Hanoi, northern Vietnam, the tour travels onwards to Ho Chi Minh City in the south before culminating in the beautiful city of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Members will visit Hanoi National Economic University and The Temple of Literature, which hosts the Imperial Academy, the very first university in Vietnam. Academic learning started there as far back as 1076 under the Ly Dynasty, and continues today in its modern form.

Alongside visiting universities, members will experience street-food tours, local markets, and partake in hands-on cooking classes, becoming fully absorbed in the local culture and cuisine. You can read the full review in the April edition of University Business magazine.

All of our study tours in the TUCO Academy follow our ethos of experiential learning, that of touching, tasting and seeing first-hand. In 2017, I am proud to say we delivered 13 study tours including three international ones, an additional 31 day courses and launched our e-learning platform.

‘Members will experience street-food tours, local markets, and partake in hands-on cooking classes, becoming fully absorbed in the local culture and cuisine.’

Market responsive, our TUCO Academy training courses span all areas relevant to university caterers, including cost-control, allergen awareness, food safety and cultural experiences. Used as a catalyst for change, benefits include upskilled workforce, greater staff retention, empowered employees, and an enhanced knowledge base.

This month also sees the return of our popular annual skills competition. Now in its 25th year, the event is a three-day extravaganza hosted by The University of Warwick from 26–28 March. The event showcases best-in-class university hospitality, and this year covers even more categories than ever before.

Enhancements for 2018 include changes to the Barista skills challenge, which will, for the first time allow competitors to select their own beans. Competing live, entrants will produce four espressos, four cappuccinos and four espresso-based, non-alcoholic specialty drinks.

Last year we welcomed more than 150 competitors and 400 delegates from the catering and higher education industries and this year is set to deliver record-breaking numbers and even fiercer competition. Make sure you reserve your place.

Ffi: www.tuco.ac.uk