Cooking with Blake, Tanae & Cassie

Welcome to our group digital artefact!

We all can’t deny that we all love the good spontaneous take-away Chinese meal to save ourselves from doing our own cooking. There are always a huge variety of things to choose from, it’s cost-friendly, it’s an extremely easy process (either you pick it up or pay that little extra for delivery) & it’s seriously tasty.

Chinese cuisine has been around in Australia basically since the 1850s and we can thank Chinese immigrants within the Gold Rush era for that.

In the first half of the 20th century the Chinese restaurant was one of the most visible symbols of cultural diversity in Sydney” – B. Nichol, National Library of Australia Presentation.


The overwhelming majority of Australia’s original Chinese community came from Kwangtung Province (located in Southern China) with its distinctive Cantonese cooking style based on fresh fruit/vegetables, fish, poultry and pork. Rice was also grown in large amounts and was served as a nutritious base for a variety of food combinations, with herbs and spices.

Majority of this was happening in Melbourne (presumably because this is where the Gold Rush took place) and it had great substantial growth.

  • 1930’s: 18 Chinese cook-shops/restaurants listed in trade directories
  • 1970’s: 150 Chinese restaurants operating in the city and suburbs of Melbourne
melbourne china town

China Town in Melbourne

Cantonese food that was available in these restaurants was extremely approachable due to the emphasis on freshness of produce and its large palette.

The dishes were a variation on the theme – now sometimes referred to as ‘chop suey cuisine’. Thus fried rice, sweet & sour pork, lemon chicken, and chow mein (without any mein ((noodles)), became the signature dishes of ancient and refined cuisine” – Annette Shun Wah, Sydney Morning Herald.

Chef Neil Perry feels as though we as a country are eating more and more authentic and regional Chinese food. This is due to the Australian citizens becoming more adventurous when it came to the cuisine. Due to this Chef’s have started to slightly change the recipes on some of our favourite recipes and dishes to give them new flavour and to make them healthier.

Thus being the reason why we decided to experience some of this traditional Chinese (Australian) cuisine in all of its glory. By actually COOKING IT. Yes, that’s right. We actually went and bought the ingredients, followed a recipe and successfully cooked a meal.

authentic traditional chinese food

The three of us came together due to our love for Chinese cuisine and inability to cook it. So we all agreed we needed to try something new and we got our chef on after researching about the history of the food here in Australia.

We chose to cook a simple, yet traditional and highly popular *Lemon Chicken*. Our reasoning for this was because we wanted to cook something that would be a recognisable dish to everyone, we all were familiar with it and enjoy eating it cooked by a restaurant, and neither of us had never cooked a traditional Chinese dish before which was our main point of this as we wanted to try something new and push ourselves a little bit.

We found a recipe online and we gathered the ingredients required. The three of us documented ourselves turning Tanae’s kitchen completely upside down cooking to produce what you’d probably call a ‘short cooking segment’ that you’ll find on youtube.

We didn’t want to create a cooking tutorial, we just wanted to document our experience on cooking the dish for the first time. So rather than teaching people how to cook the dish through our actions we show you how we taught ourselves with only ONE TAKE!!!

Obviously the footage was edited to shorten it because cooking the dish actually took a lot longer than expected. I promise though you’ll still get to see the good parts.

We all felt as though this was a really eye opening experience even though its something so simple. We really enjoyed the process of bringing our dish together and doing something out of our ordinary. Would we do it again? Yes, highly likely, although we would probably try something new next time and something maybe a little less time consuming. Either that or we will have much better time management in the future.


Give it a watch and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Group Members:
Blake Sykes
Cassandra Bradley
Tanae Armstrong



Maxabella, B 2018, ‘A (brief) history of Australian food,’ SBS, 21 June,

Nichol, B (insert date here), ‘Sweet and sour history: Melbourne’s early Chinese restaurants,’ National Archives of Australia,

Savill, J 2013, ‘Canto Cool,’ The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 September,

Shun Wah, A & Aitken, G 1999, Banquet: ten courses to harmony, Doubleday, Sydney.




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