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Rose and her Chinese inspiration – A Uforic Food Hero

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I have wanted, for a very long time, to sit down and talk to seemingly ordinary people about their passions for food. I’m not talking about celebrity chefs, high-end restaurant owners and the people we regularly see on TV, in the paper or around the web. I’m talking about the people who feed us every day. The chef at the cafe down the road, the farmer on the coast – the owner of our local restaurants and eateries, accomplished home cooks – and, heaven forbid, the food bloggers of the world. I want to meet your everyday foodie – and ask them what they love about about the things we cook and eat. These people will be known as our Uforic Food Heroes – I can’t wait to meet them, and tell you all about what inspires them in the kitchen!

First, let me introduce Rose …

Chinese stir fry from Rose Chinese Restaurant AngleseaAs I sit down in front of Rose Haung, Owner and Chef of Rose Chinese Restaurant in Anglesea, the smell wafting from the kitchen is almost completely distracting.

Rose is fully aware that there are some “not so good” Chinese restaurant out there. She talks straight away about how she makes everything from scratch  – and as she says it – she’s nothing but serious.

“I’m making satay sauce at the moment,” Rose explains as she sits down, the nutty smell wafting through the warmly lit restaurant.

“Everything is hand-made and homemade – we don’t have anything in packets. It’s very important that we do that.”

Rose visits the markets herself to select the freshest and best quality ingredients – and after eating at Rose’s restaurant on a few occasions now – her cooking is nothing short of absolutely delicious.

Photo: Justin Kennedy - LMC Media Solutions

Photo: Justin Kennedy – LMC Media Solutions

Rose not only owns her own restaurant, and cooks every meals that comes from the kitchen, she is also a single mother with a beautiful teenage daughter called Ruby.

I wonder how she finds the time … but I settle for asking her about what inspires her to cook.

She says it was her mother’s cooking which inspired her to learn the Cantonese and Malaysian-style dishes of her home, which she now lovingly serves to her customers, many of whom are locals who have been returning to the Anglesea restaurant for years. Others are visitors to the Great Ocean Road and have heard about Rose’s delicious cooking from friends, family, or on the grape-vine.

Rose, who is from Southern China, has spent many years replicating family dishes.

“In China when we were young we didn’t have any grandparents. So, the first person to come home had to cook,” Rose explains.

“So my other sisters didn’t want to come home first because they didn’t want to cook!

Photo: Justin Kennedy - LMC Media Solutions

Photo: Justin Kennedy – LMC Media Solutions

“I didn’t mind because I really like cooking. I’m from Southern China and so I do a lot of Cantonese dishes. The flavour is nice and light and not too strong and because my mum was from Malaysia,  I learnt a little bit of that style of cooking from her as well as my grandmother. They really like curries and satay and we like a lot of beautiful entrees like dim sim for yum cha and steamed fish.”

Rose started the Anglesea restaurant more than 10 years ago, when her daughter Ruby was all but still a baby. Previously she managed restaurants in Port Fairy for six years and before that, when she first arrived in Australia, she worked in cafes in a bid to improve her English and gain experience.

Photo: Justin Kennedy - LMC Media Solutions

Photo: Justin Kennedy – LMC Media Solutions

Ruby, who is now 13, helps out and everyone in town knows her gorgeous smiling face.

Wherever you look around the restaurant, you see genuine pieces of the real China, all brought out by Rose herself.

Photo: Justin Kennedy - LMC Media Solutions

Photo: Justin Kennedy – LMC Media Solutions

Rose aspires to create a warm and inviting atmosphere and while her impressive cooking skills are the centre of activity in the efficient kitchen – she is committed to visiting each table to say hello and to ensure everyone has enjoyed their meals.

“I always like to make the customer happy – it’s very important. I try really hard to talk to people and make sure they enjoyed their dinner and had a good experience.”

The interview above came from some work my husband and I did for Rose. We developed her website for her through our business LMC Media Solutions and the best part of that for me was getting to sit down with Rose to learn more about her and the restaurant to write the content for her “about us” page. This is an adaption of that work. I only decided to use Roses story on Uforic Food because I found her so inspiring … and her food is truly amazing! 

I have recently done another interview with a fabulous foodie – and I look forward to bringing that, and the stories of other “ordinary” food heroes, to you soon.

 

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