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Cantonese cuisine a recipe for prosperity

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-04-16 09:01
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For Tibetan woman Dadron, Cantonese cuisine from Guangdong province is not only about food and ingredients, but also a path to future fortune.

"I want to start a business by opening a bakeshop after finishing Cantonese cuisine training," the 23-year-old said.

Dadron, along with 14 other trainees from Nyingchi in the Tibet autonomous region, is taking a three-month training course on making Cantonese pastries in Dongguan, Guangdong.

"I have not had any knowledge about Cantonese food. The training will lay a solid foundation for me to start my future business in my hometown," she said.

The Cantonese cuisine training is part of a pairing-off arrangement for poverty relief between Guangdong and Tibet.

Over the last two years, more than 3,600 people from Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces and the Tibet, Guangxi Zhuang and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions have received training in Cantonese cuisine under cooperation agreements with Guangdong, according to the Guangdong Provincial Human Resources and Social Security Department.

"After finishing the training, students will be provided jobs at star-rated hotels, with incomes reaching over 4,500 yuan ($689) a month," said Chen Weiqing, director of the Cantonese Chefs and Cultural Association of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The association signed a cooperation agreement with a vocational school in Nyingchi late last month, aiming to help train more young people from Tibet in Cantonese cuisine.

"The Cantonese cuisine training has developed as an efficient way for local young people to find better jobs in the Pearl River Delta region, which is famous for its delicious fresh Cantonese food," Chen said.

The Nyingchi Vocational School has Cantonese cuisine ingredients and kitchenware to help train students, he said. "Students can be trained at home, with those willing to find jobs in Guangdong sent there for further training," Chen said.

Guangdong has been making efforts to promote Cantonese cuisine training as a way to boost employment and fight poverty.

More than 180 vocational schools have opened Cantonese cuisine cooking courses in the province, with 68,000 students at present, according to the department.

"Cantonese cuisine, one of the four major Chinese cuisines, has been using a variety of seemingly simple methods to keep the natural flavors of the ingredients for hundreds of years," Chen said.

Over 330,000 people have benefited from the Cantonese cuisine training program, which was launched in 2018, by finding jobs or opening their own businesses, according to the department.

The program has also played a role in fighting poverty, with more than 13,000 people under the poverty line in the province having found jobs after receiving training, department official Qiu Jing said.

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