Graduation Day In Mingdao University, Taichung
The second leg of our visit to Taiwan was to attend the graduation ceremony of my eldest son in Mingdao University. My son took a two year course in the Culinary Arts. An arrangement was made for the parents and family from overseas to attend the convocation as well as attend a graduation dinner prepared by the graduating students of the Culinary Arts faculty. It was held on the 16th of December 2010. The event was hosted by the Mingdao University but the organising and preparation were the hard work of the graduating students who pitched in their combined efforts with the assistance and guidance of the staff and management of Mingdao University together with their professors and lecturers.
It was well packaged with a two-night stay at the Le Parker Hotel in Taichung. The package included a tour of the Sun-Moon Lake, followed by a sumptuous lunch at one of the restaurants in the vicinity of the Sun-Moon Lake. Transportation was arranged to ferry us from the Le Parker Hotel to the Mingdao University. We were given a conducted tour of the Mingdao University grounds. Before the graduation ceremony cum dinner, we were shown exhibits of art works crafted from various types of food and fruits by the batch of graduating students of the Culinary Arts faculty. Their wonderful creations showcased their talents and skills.
The highlight of the day was of course the graduation ceremony cum dinner.
A group photo of the graduating students of the Culinary Arts faculty.
The exhibits were truly creative works of art made from various food items and artistically presented by the students of the Culinary Arts faculty.
An awesome dragon.
It's no ordinary dragon. Look closer and you will see that the whole dragon is made from bread and buns. The scales were made from cookies. The teeth and horns were fashioned from wheat flour.
This hut is made entirely of bamboo chopsticks. The huge dinosaur egg was carved from a watermelon
Two watermelon carvings depicting the green dragon and the white tiger. In the science of feng shui the green dragon is always sited on the left and the white tiger located on the right. Note: The green dragon is always taller than the white tiger.
A beautiful phoenix made from sui-kow and an assortment of dumplings. The tail was made from the rind of a watermelon.
Another phoenix made from five types of beans
Spoilt for choice.....so many mouth-watering cakes and sweet desserts all made by the graduating students specially for this event
A lovely scene made from dough and candy
The Graduation Dinner :
The graduation dinner was planned, prepared, cooked and served by the students themselves. They showcased a fusion of food between the east and the west. The dinner was well organised and well orchestrated with suave and attentive graduating students who doubled up as stewards and stewardesses showing off their skills after two years of hard work sweating it out in the kitchen. During the dinner, we were entertained to a variety of shows like cake-decorating, cooking on stage, and stand-up comedies which were well performed. What a talented bunch of aspiring chefs!
Soup made from superior stock, shellfish, carrots and tofu
Scallops and mayonaise prawns, braised mushrooms, broccoli and fried rice
A duck dish. This is French cooking.
Chocolate dome laced with alcohol. The stewards and stewardesses made a big show of setting the dome aflame to melt the thin layer of chocolate....
.....to reveal 3 types of ice-cream inside the chocolate dome
The Graduates :
A round of applause to the aspiring chefs who prepared a sumptuous dinner.
The happy faces of the graduates
The Sun-Moon Lake near Taichung
I was looking forward to visiting this tourist attraction in Taichung. I heard so much about its beautiful scenery and lake. The website on Taiwan posted so many beautiful photos and scenery of this place, they look magnificent. However, on the day of our visit, it was drizzling and our visit was in winter. The place was misty and there were no beautiful flowers in sight. Many of the the photos we had taken of this place had to be deleted because they were blur and shrouded in mist. I was truly disappointed. Perhaps, this is an excuse for us to come back for a second visit in springtime?
Well, all is not lost because in Taichung we sampled two food items which we truly love. The first was at a noodle and rice shop. The taste of the soup noodle and the pork chop is so similar to what is available in Kuala Lumpur. Later we found out that the cook was from Thailand. No wonder the similarity. Next was the kao fan shu or roast sweet potato. We bought some near the night market just a walking distance from the hotel. It was so sweet, fragrant and delicious and cheap too. Until today the roast sweet potato is still a conversational topic in the family.
Noodle with pork chop and the much missed chili padi
The famous Sun-Moon Lake which does not look so beautiful in this photo-frame
The jetty where tourists took boat rides around the lake
The restaurant where we had a scrumptious dinner. It was reported that Chiang Kai-Shek dined here once and had a dish of fish named after him. The name of the dish is called 'President Fish'