Chili, Garlic, Peppercorn: the SHIC Style of Alfredo Bendezu

Authors: Go Chengdu


Alfredo Bendezu, from Peru, came to Chengdu to learn how to cook Sichuan dishes at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine (SHIC), the only cooking school in China that offers professional and hands-on courses in Sichuan cuisine. He graduated from the institute in 2014.
“Slice it a bit thinner ... Yes, well done.” Alfredo Bendezu heard what his instructor had said but hardly had any time trying to do what he had been told: he was slicing a raw carrot, paying all his attention to improving his slicing techniques, an important skill in cooking the Chinese cuisine.
This was typical for Alfredo when he worked at a kitchen classroom of the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine (SHIC), the only cooking school in China that offers professional long-term and short-term hands-on courses in Sichuan cuisine.
As a young guy from Peru and the only enrolled full-time foreign student at the institute learning how to cook the Sichuan cuisine (川菜,Chuan Cai), Alfredo completed the 3-year full-time education, like his Chinese counterparts, and obtained a professional certificate in 2014.
“I got interested in Sichuan cuisine from some western websites and I knew little about China, and nothing about Sichuan, before I came here. After I had finished my study in India and the Philippines for a total of nearly three years, I came to Chengdu,” Alfredo recalled.
“The more I have learned about the Sichuan food, the more obsessed I am with it,” he said.
Consisting of two parts, every class was always a fascinating exploration for him, Alfredo said. Every morning, the teacher stood in front of a blackboard, explaining the cooking process of the dishes of the day ― all ingredients and cooking methods. Then all students went into a demo room, where the teacher demonstrated how to cook the dishes. The students were then divided into groups after lunch and each group discussed and cooked the dishes in the way they had just been showed.
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