A Chinese fortune cookie reads "Find beauty in ordinary things." Yet, for five University of Akron students, "Make beauty from ordinary things" is more appropriate.
Juanita Bagley, Jennifer Bogart, Tori Cunningham, Alyssia Cushman and Rachel Schnabel, all members of the UA Garde Manger Club, will receive carving lessons from international experts at the Veggie Art School in Chantilly, Va., May 19-20.
World-renowned fruit and vegetable carver Jimmy Zhang and Veggie Art School founder James Parker of Food Network fame, will teach the students Asian vegetable carving techniques.
This fish boat exemplifies traditional Chinese fruit and vegetable carving. Photos by Lia Chang.
"With my two day-intensive fruit and vegetable carving training, the students can create beautiful vegetable and fruit carving centerpieces and garnishes with ease," Zhang says.
Vegetable and fruit carving and origami arts developed during the same time periods in Thailand, Japan and China. Each country has its own traditional themes.
"This new perspective will be another brick in the foundation of their careers and part of their Akron Experience," says chef Richard Alford, associate professor emeritus, Department of Hospitality Management.
Zhang's step-by-step instruction of Chinese fruit and vegetable art will include carvings of radish flowers, melon vases, daisy bouquets, carrot flowers and bird and fish carvings.
Story by Theresa Augustin.
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