Alumnus Thanh Truong Launches 'Don’t Buy Fruit & Veg Without Me!'
Passionate about fresh produce and dedicated to educating others on selecting, storing and cooking food, William Angliss Institute alumnus Thanh Truong has officially launched his book Don't Buy Fruit & Veg Without Me!
From providing young bamboo shoots for red panda at Melbourne Zoo to scoring a perfect 10 with his mum's bitter melon soup on the Grand Finale of Channel Seven's Plate of Origin, Thanh's new book is among his other career highlights. The compilation of stories, tips, recipes, and insider information reflects his years as an industry expert and a fervent consumer of fresh produce.
The seed for his book was planted from the popularity of Thanh's fruit tip videos on the ABC - which have an impressive 35 million views - and after being approached by various people to produce a book that could help consumers select produce.
"I realised that there were numerous books on how to cook produce but very few on how to choose produce. Don't Buy Fruit & Veg Without Me! aims to empower people to have better fruit and vegetable experiences, no matter what their circumstance. I also share my mantra 'Good food starts with good produce," explained Thanh.
When asked about the significance of his mantra, Thanh replied, "It is a motto that everyone wants to live by, but it's a motto that no one is trained for. I feel that it is my responsibility, as arguably one of the only fruiterers with a voice, to both channel and offer the tools so that people can live out this motto - the book does exactly this."
An honourable profession
Growing up in his family's fruit shop, Thanh gained valuable experience in stacking fruit, learning the tricks of store displays and stock turnover. He reflects with gratitude on being privy to the most delicious fruit and vegetables every day.
Now the Director of Aus Asia Produce and second-generation wholesale fruiterer, he travels the world to source exotic fruits and vegetables for Australian consumers.
"Working with fresh produce is an honourable profession. There is no better feeling than knowing that the work I do helps nourish people in a healthy way. Although I wake up at 2am, the opportunity to touch, feel, taste, see and smell fruits and vegetables every day is grounding, tasty and a blessing," added Thanh who was dubbed 'The Fruit Nerd' by his friends, while in Brazil for the World Cup, because all he wanted to do was explore fruit and vegetable markets.
Studying Food Systems and Gastronomy
Keen to broaden his knowledge and develop his food voice, Thanh decided to study the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems and Gastronomy at William Angliss Institute, where he found the food study tours and developing his writing skills the most valuable.
Food study tours gave him a holistic view with a look behind-the-scenes of the operations of food systems such as agriculture, meat and dairy plus hospitality, non-profit markets and alternative agricultural practices while developing a clear and personalised writing style was critical for him to be a better communicator to consumers.
"I needed to develop my food voice so that I could clearly communicate and educate people about fruits and vegetables in a way that nobody else had done before. It was the perfect program for me, giving me the tools to improve in-order-to capture the imagination of readers, viewers, listeners, and consumers," added Thanh.
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Thanh's top three tips for people wanting to get into the foods industry:
- Write notes - especially about people you meet and the foods you eat. Preferably on your phone, so you can easily search and reflect on experiences as this will serve you well furthering your career.
- Be kind - you never know who you'll meet and whether this will lead to the next opportunity, don't lose faith!
- Be patient - don't fret, the dots will connect, and you'll find what makes you thrive.
Look out for Thanh's upcoming TV show and follow him on Instagram @fruitnerd.