Author: lifeofcassieblog

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.




Digital Asia meets digital artefact

Life of Cassie

Digital Asia is a compulsory subject for me to complete to finish off my degree. Although, I did think to myself when reading up about the subject, I’ve been to China before, I like Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine, Kung Fu Panda is my go to and I used to do origami in primary school. I thought due to that it would be an absolute breeze, little did I know I’d be introduced to a whole different spectrum of Asia, both digitally and culturally.

So for the last half of the uni semester I will be working on a new digital artefact for this subject. Sadly, this will be my very last assessed digital artefact for my degree so I am going to try and make it the most enjoyable and interesting for everyone involved. My aim for this project is to push myself and do something out of my…

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Autoethnography – My Overview

Life of Cassie


A huge part of the digital artefact process for this semester will be ‘autoethnography’. Something that struck me personally from the Ellis article ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’ was how researchers that write ethnographies produce a thick description of the focused culture. “The purpose of this description is to help facilitate understanding of a culture for insiders and outsiders, and is created by discerning patterns of cultural experience – repeated feelings, stories, and happenings – as evidenced by field notes, interviews and/or artefacts” (Ellis, 2010).

This is a really important process in doing autoethnography, for it to be a successful project, both myself and my audience need to be able to gather a valuable understanding of the culture I am facilitating from, by being able to reflect on their own cultural experiences. I think for this to come across effectively I need to personally grasp a thick understanding of my…

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“keep your insides to yourself pls” – a story by me

Life of Cassie

It has been three weeks of the new semester and I can most definitely say that I’ve been introduced to multiple levels of the Japanese culture that I never really knew existed before. “Akira” a Japanese anime film set in 1988, showed me the explicit content behind the scenes of the aftermath of the Nuclear attack.


I felt extremely overwhelmed by the film. I am extremely used to watching American film, your romantic comedy, adventure or light hearted action movies. I learnt about the atomic bombings of World War II from the United States perspective, so my views and knowledge until today were completely one-sided. Akira opened my eyes to what i had completely missed studying the war back in high school. I must say after reflecting back on the film I am rather disappointed in myself for blocking myself off from the impact that this had on…

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Ready, Set, TWEET!

Life of Cassie

This week I introduced myself to the wonderful world of ‘Digital Asia’. This is a topic I am really interested in studying for the upcoming semester. More importantly though, I was able to reconnect myself with the process of live-tweeting. Even though this isn’t something that is new to me, my first live tweeting experience for this study has taught me a lot about how I perceive different cultures and how other cultures may see myself.

I personally come from an Australian cultural background. I have not been brought up under any beliefs or religions and have only been accustomed to the traditions within my family that are non-cultural. Although, my Australian culture has allowed me to be a part of national traditions too, and adapt my personality to what other cultures may stereotype as ‘classic Aussie bogan’.


Australia is an extremely multicultural country and I feel as though…

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