Fire up the Flambé! Taylor’s Summer School Gives Students from I-SHOU University in Taiwan a Unique Set of Professional Hospitality Skills

Hospitality management is not only about studying theory, it’s also about gaining practical and professional skills. During an intensive 2-week short course, this group of Taiwanese students mastered a range of important practical skills.

A student from I-SHOU University showing their mastery of the flambé cooking technique at TU
Table-side flambé cooking is not as easy as it looks” said Michelle Lee, the co-ordinator of this short course. However, a group of 28-students from I-SHOU University in Taiwan came to the Taylor’s University’s Lakeside campus for a summer school to master a range of other professional skills during a “Fundamental of Hotel and Restaurant Techniques” course.
This short course programme was developed by the Faculty of Hospitality, Food and Leisure Management to provide these students with some hands-on applied learning. Given the long link of Taylor’s University with the Academy of Toulouse and the University of Toulouse in France, this course offered a combination of European fine-dining techniques, with a unique blend of ‘Malaysia-Truly Asia’ service styles that drawn on the county’s Malay, Chinese and Indian cultural heritages.
The course included a range of professional service skills and applied learning. The first part focused on service skills and techniques using the campuses 4-training restaurants. The second part concentrated on front office and housekeeping. Students were able to learn and practice by using the ‘learning suites’ at TU and then gained real-world experience with customers in the on-campus commercial operations – such as Ruemz Hotel and Temptations Restaurant. The students also learnt barrista skills (making expresso, latte coffees etc), a range of mocktails (Shirley Temple, Virgin Mojiho etc.) as well as fine dining service styles for a multi-course meal. This also included learning the flambé cooking technique - where the students practised learning to cook a variety of foods (using a live flame) at the restaurant table. The students also learnt how to make Teh Tarik - which is unique and traditional Malaysian ‘pulled-tea’.
When it came to gaining some front desk experience, the students learnt how to use the front desk Opera/Mircos system and to check-in guests. Michelle Lee, the course co-ordinator said, “this summer school allowed us to share some of our European and Asia technical expertise with the students from I-SHOU University. The students gained a lot of confidence during their practical exposure with us. They were a vibrant group of students, and we look forward to continuing the co-operation”.
One of the I-Shou students, Li, Meng-Chian said she would recommend such a short-course because “not only did we have a wonderful time learning many new things, but we also got a range of hands-on and practical experiences that are not taught at my university back at home”. Another student, Sylvia Chou said that, “the lecturers were helpful and always clear with their instructions”, adding that, “this course taught us a range of practical things like setting and serving the tables in a European style, as well as how to operate a hotel front office system. We also learnt to make coffee the Italian way, and learned to cook flambé style too”.
Dr Beatrice Loo, who also happens to be a Taylor’s alumnus, is the course co-ordinator in the Department of International Tourism & Hospitality Department at I-SHOU University. She said that she was “pleased to able to send a group of students to gain these skills at Taylor’s”. Professor Perry Hobson, the Pro Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement, said that, “we look forward to deepening our relationship with I-SHOU and other universities in Taiwan”.
He has visited I-SHOU University on several occasions giving an invited Guest Lectures to their students, plus a  research seminar to their academic staff and has also been an invited ‘Occasional Speaker’ at their Graduation ceremony - (Global Matters 2017)