Running with the Dream
An exclusive interview with Mao Xin, the Cooking and Catering Consultant on Yibin Campus of Gingko College
If it is common in modern society to use labels to introduce a person intuitively, then “handsome”, “sunny”, “energetic”, “polite and thoughtful” are the labels given to Mao Xin when meeting him for the first time. The modest gentleman who is low-key and humble, and the elite of the industry who is deeply hidden, are the additional labels given to Mao Xin after getting to know him for the first time.
Mao Xin went to Canada alone at the age of 17 and worked hard in the catering industry in a foreign country. As the only Chinese who was invited to participate in the Canadian reality show “Top Chef”, Mao Xin decided to return home to teach the youngsters who are eager to learn, in order to inherit the food culture. As the Cooking and Catering Consultant on Yibin Campus of Gingko College of Hospitality Management, Mao Xin (Frank) has stepped on the road of a chef`s crossover.
Braving the winds and waves in the competition
Being the only Chinese contestant in the competition
If you are fortunate enough to follow a Canadian TV show “Top Chef”, you will be attracted by the Asian contestant with black hair, yellow skin and the signature grin showing eight teeth. Compared with more than 20 North American contestants, he looks unique. He is Mao Xin, who has stood out from more than 5,000 contestants and has become the only “top chef” holding a Chinese passport in the show’s eight seasons.
This chef competition, which is famous in the industry for its high standards and professionalism, has become an arena for people in the industry to compete. After breaking out of the siege from a sea of thousands of candidates, he still had to compete with more than 20 top players face to face. Mao Xin was like a fighter full of energy, without a trace of fatigue on his face. In the show, he did not lose the professional precision accumulated in the industry for many years, and he was able to add creative ideas into the dishes, escape the traditional and rigid ways of thinking about cooking, and cook a series of Mao’s flavors in limited time, which was highly recognized. As a Chinese, Mao Xin naturally and generously shared his thoughts and journeys in fluent English in front of the camera, as well as the loving interaction with other players, which made everyone have more and more favorable impression of this sunny boy.
The Vancouver Sun even spared a full-page interview with Mao Xin in- depth, trying to find the “ratatouille” hidden in his chef hat. But he generously told us: “All mysteries come from incomparable love.”
Creating new dishes by combining Chinese cuisine with western cuisine
Conquering the taste buds of foreigners by mind and craftsmanship
Laughing, chatting, loving to make friends, and an outgoing personality help Mao Xin open the door to cooking. “Dishes can quickly shorten the distance between people. Whether cooking or tasting, there is interaction and sharing between friends. This warm atmosphere is the environment for making friends that I enjoy very much.” In this way, Mao Xin walks on the path to become a professional chef who uses his interest as a mentor.
As a Chinese who pursues his career in North America, Mao Xin is not only just a transmitter of Chinese food culture, but also ingeniously combines Italian cuisine with traditional Chinese cuisine. When asked the reason for the combination of these two cuisines, he always patiently explains that, to some extent, the flavors of Italian cuisine are similar to those of Chinese cuisine, so that one only needs to change some thoughts to create sparks of a Chinese-Italian flavor on the tip of the tongue.
“Too many people think that chefs mainly rely on taste buds and craftsmanship, which are just the basic requirements of a profession, and creativity is often the key.” Mao Xin, who has been influenced by Chinese and Western cultures, is more eager to promote Chinese cuisine than his peers. While he introduces the Chinese food culture to the west, he learns from western food to serve Chinese food. “Kong Pao Chicken is a Chinese delicacy that foreigners love. Considering that foreign beef is of great meat quality, we simply jump out of the original rules and change Kung Pao Chicken to Kung Pao Beef to see whether foreigners will pay for it.” Mao Xin revealed that Chinese cuisine tailored to local flavors has been well received.
Adhering to his passion for cooking, Mao Xin adds his thoughts to cooking, uses his magical hands to conjure, and audaciously combines the spices that seem impossible to blend, which leads to surprises. From the beginning of serving dishes and wiping the table, to running restaurants and developing advanced culinary techniques today, Mao Xin takes one step at a time. Moreover, Mao Xin said besides diligence, thinking is a very important thing on the way to growth.
Making a crossover with a dual identity as a chef and teacher
Transferring the correct knowledge and concept of the industry
Because of decades of industry experience as well as profound and unique insights into food culture, Mao Xin is deeply aware that culture must be passed on. He wants to seek a new place, to teach all his refined skills and cognition. After thinking twice, he chooses to return to China and become a consultant for the teaching hotel on Yibin campus of Gingko College.
Teaching one how to fish is better than giving him fish. Teaching cooking is not complicated, but teaching ideas cannot be accomplished in a day. As Mao Xin said, the transmission of culture and ideas is a slow process of immersion. “I want to use my strength to help friends in other industries know more about this profession and to encourage students majoring in hotel management to maintain their confidence and enthusiasm in this profession. Professional Cooking is not just about adding the oil and tossing, but a manifestation of perfect service and exquisite pursuit, a feeling of respect and awe to the industry, and an expression of an attitude towards improving the quality of life.”
Changing from a “top chef” in North America to a consultant in Gingko College, the chef who has made a crossover to teaching is influencing more people with his passion.
Cheerleading Team of Gingko College: uniting as one, they have told their stories by flowers and applause.
Cheerleading is a sport which is a combination of dance, gymnastics, music, fitness, and entertainment, so it’s always relevant to words like “hot-blooded”, “young”, “sunny” and so on. Since the establishment of the College Cheerleading Team in 2011, adhering to the interest in cheerleading, students of Ginkgo College have made the team keep developing and upgrading. 2020 is the ninth year of the establishment of Ginkgo College Cheerleading Team. This year, the 37-member team led by Ning Han, a teacher from the Department of Leisure and Sports Management, which was captained by Wen Yijie, the team leader, went on to win the championship in the 2020 Sichuan Aerobics Championships. Because of love, they get together; because of love, they march forward bravely.
Uniting as one, they have told their stories by flowers and applause.
Practicing hard day by day
Shedding tears in the gym room
With the passing by of Start of Winter and the arrival of Light Snow, a vast expanse of whiteness can always be seen in one’s breath at night. In the climate when people just want to get into bed to keep warm, when passing by the gym room every Sunday to Thursday, one can always see the sweaty cheerleaders wearing thin shirts who are practicing hard.
“The girl was practicing the splits and the two boys helped to hold her front and back legs to prevent them from bending. The girl gritted her teeth and tried to move her weight down, trying to get down to the ground. The expression on her face showed her pain evidently.” For cheerleaders, this is a familiar scene.
Every year, the College Cheerleading Team follows the principle of voluntary participation and recruits new students from all departments in the college. There is no rigid requirement for basics, and the team can be joined out of deep love. As a result, team members of different levels make regular training urgent. Regardless of winter cold or summer heat, daily training is unshakable. Some cry with fatigue; some cry with pain; some grit their teeth with a determined effort; and some even conclude that “it’s easier to practice the splits in winter than in summer.”… This is the unknown hardship behind the glamorous cheerleading team on stage.
Forming a good habit of mutual help
Highlighting the team cohesion
Uniting hand in hand for a better future together, the College Cheerleading Team has experienced Version 1.0 of formation, Version 2.0 of development to present Version 3.0 of a leap. Regular training helps the team members better understand and get familiar with each other, which also paves the way for the team cohesion necessary in competitions. A perfect cheerleading performance not only examines the patterns, creativity and skills of formation changes but also examines the integrity of the team’s uniformity. Difficult performances such as lifting and thirty-two fouetté turn take a long time to prepare, which is also conducive to the formation of tacit understanding and trust among the team members.
During the preparatory period of each provincial competition, there are always team members who retreat and doubt their abilities due to problems such as huge pressure and difficult movements. The team members often get together to cheer each other up, and even accompany each other and train together to help their teammates refine their movements, telling each other that they are not fighting alone by action. Before the game, the members will shout slogans together, shout out the doubts and pressure in their hearts, and show the spirit of Ginkgo College Cheerleading Team.
Like-minded friendship and perseverance are the two biggest treasures the team members have gain in the cheerleading team.
Reaping rewards for tears and sweat
Winning glory for Gingko College with passion
With unremitting efforts, the College Cheerleading Team has represented the college in city competitions, provincial competitions, and national competitions, and has achieved many good results. Each medal of honor has made Ginkgo College Cheerleading Team enjoy a high reputation.
They all say that they will maintain the most diligent life and the most inspirational dream, and entering the national finals and going abroad for competitions has become the highest goal pursued by the College Cheerleading Team. Even though the veterans are graduating and the new team members are laying the foundation, the team`s passion will not fade. As the ginkgo leaves in Gingko College, they will wither and fall in autumn and winter, but they will sprout and flourish again in spring and summer.
“The most dashing heroes in harm`s way” of Gingko College in 2020
To be the silent guardian angels on campus silently, to wear the black uniforms representing peace and security.
The health QR code, the hand-held infrared thermometer, the registration form, the face recognition system…For epidemic prevention and control, everyone must go through all these necessary procedures before entering Gingko campus, so as to be permitted entry. This is not only a responsibility within the capacity of Gingko College for the society, but also the peace and security for the whole campus offered by this group of Gingko “guardian angels”.
Looking back at 2020, we can fill our memories of the year with keywords like “uneven”, “extraordinary”, “tough” and so on. However, these Gingko “guardian angels” work hard on their own and shoulder the responsibility silently, which helps one of Gingko`s keywords of the year stand out—“peace”.
On the epidemic prevention and control of 2020
Stabilizing normality in abnormality
34、11、22、10、100000+…In the era of big data, all these accurate figures have been contributing to the achievements of the Security Department in 2020. A team of 34 people; 11 training and drills on disaster prevention, disaster reduction and disaster relief; 22 inspections (investigations) on the potential fire hazards in key parts of the campus; 10 college meetings and training on security; and the identity verification for over 100,000 visitors to campus…In maintaining the political security of Ginkgo College, the stability of the campus, the teaching, scientific research and orderly life, and protecting the property of the college as well as the life and property of the teachers and the students and other staff members, these “guardian angels” can be seen everywhere.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic, as the first line of defence for epidemic prevention and control on campus, Gingko Security Department has stood up to the huge pressure. On the basis of strengthening its own protection and ensuring zero infection of all security personnel, Gingko Security Department has actively coordinated with various parties and gained the upper hand in the “two battles”, which are the battle of epidemic prevention and control as well as the battle of ensuring campus security.
From fulfilling their duties during the winter break in 2020 to strengthening the defense lines during the epidemic in the spring semester; from welcoming the new and old students back to campus in the autumn semester to the emergency deployment for the juncture of the recurrence of the epidemic in Pi County at the end of the year…these tough battles make people see Gingko Security Department step forward at each critical moment.
On daily team work
Being strict with themselves and improving professional skills
At the end of the lunar year 2020, Gingko Security Department performed a set of practical capture techniques with perfect synchronization and powerful movements at the New Year Party to put a satisfactory end for the work of 2020, which is exactly the training routine on weekdays for the members of the Security Department.
The daily training is methodical; the daily patrol is unshakable despite the bitter cold and scorching heat. Figures in black uniforms can be seen in guarding the school gates, patrolling and monitoring the campus, guarding the important areas, and security for large events. Gingko security personnel are active at the school gates at dawn, in the corridors of the teaching buildings at night, in every drill and every accident.
How can one become a good security guard? Faced with the questions, the director of Gingko Security Department Zhang Lixi gave a definition, which refers to high awareness of vigilance, good service attitude, improved professional skills and strict self-discipline. A good security guard is good at discovery, good at the early warning, and good at dealing with emergencies, attaching importance to trivial matters and ignoring nothing, who is an escort for campus security.
Military-style management and strict standards make the team continue to refine its development. At present, Ginkgo Security Department forms an efficient working model of “1+3+5”, which is, in case of any emergency, “to be called out in 1 minute, to arrive at the scene in 3 minutes, and to solve the problem in 5 minutes”. Zhang Lixi further explained that since the alarm went off, the security guards must be fully armed in one minute for setting off, arrive at the scene in three minutes, and to understand the development trend of the problem and take the initiative to solve it in five minutes.
In addition, the team’s professional security knowledge and political theory study keep going. Every summer vacation, the Security Department carries out a 7-to-10-day training of security service to help the team improve their professional skills and qualifications. Under this standardized management, whether in the drills on fire prevention, disaster prevention or in real emergencies, the security team can keep the scene orderly.
On the work plan of 2021
A six-character motto guiding the construction of the security team
Due to its outstanding achievements in 2020, Ginkgo security team has won the 2020 “Special Recognition” Award, which approves the epidemic prevention and control in an abnormal state and the security work of the Security Department last year, and is also an inspiration for the team’s future work to a higher level.
Looking forward to 2021, Zhang Lixi said that the Security Department would revise the “College Emergency Plans” as a start. By referring to the “A List of Security Management Responsibilities”, the Security Department will further sort out and reflect the college’s “shortcomings” in emergency awareness, emergency preparedness, emergency capacity and construction of emergency system and mechanism. Moreover, the training and drills will be enhanced to effectively improve the emergency handling abilities as well as the self-rescue and mutual-rescue capabilities of the faculty and the students and other staff members, which will promote the security work of the college to a new level.
At the same time, Zhang Lixi also mentioned that for every member of the Gingko security team, words like “implementation, service, image” must be internalized in the heart and externalized in the form, which is to strengthen the implementation, serve sincerely, build a good image, so as to further improve the security and satisfaction of all the teachers and the students.
Gingko security team, the most dashing “heroes in harm’s way” on campus, will continue to take root in the frontline deeply in 2021, which will silently guard the whole campus in low-key and introverted “figures in black uniforms”.