Chopsticks or Fork?
Australia and Malaysia both have vibrant food cultures. Many country towns in Australia have a favourite local Chinese restaurant. It’s an intrinsic part of Australian identity: a place for celebration, relationships, and community. But who are the people who run these restaurants? Where are they from? Why do they choose to work behind the wok, and what’s their favourite dish on the menu?
These restaurants have brought to life some uniquely popular Australian-Chinese dishes, such as fried dim sim, Mongolian lamb and honey prawns to name a few.
Part-travel, part-human-interest story and part-food show, Chopsticks or Fork? is a collaboration between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the ABC, that delves into an aspect of Australiana that everyone’s experienced with fond memories. In particular, episode 3 of the series chronicles 20 years of Malaysian Chinese food in Hervey Bay, Queensland. It features Gary Bong from Kuching, Sarawak, who moved to Australia with his family in 1991. Gary runs Oriental Palace and is continuing the tradition of cooking Malaysian food for the community.
Hosted by comedian and food enthusiast Jennifer Wong, each of the six episodes looks at one unique Chinese restaurant in regional Australia.
Jen chats with the owners, their family, and members of the community, and explores the inner workings of the restaurant and its role in the town.
Each episode explores a delicious dish that’s significant to the restaurant, offers up recipes for Australian-Chinese staples such as sweet and sour pork and that magical thermodynamic-defying fried ice cream, and asks that important question: chopsticks or fork?
An ABC production, financed with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Director: Lin Jie Kong. Producers: Lin Jie Kong & Jennifer Wong. ABC Executive Producer: Rachel Robinson. ABC Manager, Screen: Jo Chichester. For further information contact Nicole Murphy at DFAT: firstname.lastname@example.org or Kim Bassett, ABC Publicity: email@example.com