Blend of luscious cuisines and art of storytelling

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/10/10 17:28:40

Black Garlic laced Australian Beef Sirloin Steak, served with Potato and Truffle Slices Photo: IC

Black Garlic laced Australian Beef Sirloin Steak, served with Potato and Truffle Slices Photo: IC

A consumer orders food online after scanning the bar code at a restaurant. Photo: IC

Chinese diners who enjoy a prime Australian steak will soon be able to explore the story behind their meal in augmented reality, thanks to an initiative by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and a group of outback students.

This year, high school students from the cattle farming community of Mount Gambier in Southern Australia have been learning how to use digital platforms to tell the story of their community product, from paddock to plate.

QUT researcher Jock McQueenie who is coordinating the project explained that the information will be displayed through augmented reality, attached with a QR code on the menu or packaging when the product gets to China.

"The idea is that the storytelling would pop-up from a menu via the app or a barcode," McQueenie told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The digital storytelling component is part of a larger project funded by the Australian government and operated by BeefLedger, which tracks beef products from the feedlots of rural Australia to consumers in China.

"What they're trying to do is to use high tech credentialing and block-chain technology to track Australian beef from the feedlot to the plate in China," McQueenie said.

That process generates a large amount of data including transportation, weight, packaging, and so on, which the students can utilize in their digital displays for the consumer.

"So the Chinese consumer will not only be able to see from the data the credentials of the beef, they will also know exactly what the beef has been through its entire journey, besides an authentic local voice narrating the story of the community that produced it," McQueenie said.

Last month, the students welcomed a delegation of chefs and restaurant owners from the city of Changshu, near Shanghai, to their community in Mount Gambier, cooking together and exchanging their experiences of what transpires at each end of this unique partnership.

The chefs were enlightened as to where their produce comes from, while the students got a better understanding of what customers expect from Aussie beef.

Involving the students in this project, McQueenie said, is multifaceted and invaluable to their education across science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as cultural and geographic studies.

The concept is expected to be completed and rolled out before the end of this year while the students continue to tweak and refine their message to customers.

"To be honest, there's a creative process and we don't even know yet what that will look like, except that it will be based on narration and data," McQueenie said.

"And it will speak to the Chinese consumer about Mount Gambier."
Newspaper headline: Digital dining experience

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