High-stakes chefs train elsewhere, but ordinary people who love sophisticated cooking experience in a happy, sharing and learning new culture and experience.

Otao kitchen develops this manual to guide us to present a sophisticated cooking experience.

Otao kitchen offers Cooking Classes and Events Experience at 360 Victoria St., Richmond.  in the heart of Little Saigon surrounding by people with interests in Vietnamese foods.

Current trends for cooking own foods is further with celebrity chef featuring foods on mainstream media. Melbourne restaurants are gearing up with many infused dishes from Asian background. Consumers favor Asian foods as fresh and healthy alternative.

Melbourne City ranks high on food and wine scene in Australia. Demand for culinary experience continues to grow. Australians has increased their travel tastes on food experience and want to go further in trying them at home (such as experiencing master chef show). Perhaps this translates into more demand for cooking experience.

Cooking experience is a serious and competitive business.  Professional cooking schools can have the air of military camps where fear and strict order dominated. Nothing wrong with that in the world of celebrity chefs, fame and Michelin stars. But for home cooks, cooking is either a fun and enjoyable encouraging creativity. For us, sensing a growing market niche, are offering relaxed, fun lessons in cool surroundings that don’t intimidate the participants.



Otao kitchen staff and management are expected to conduct in the manner which will enhance the reputation of Otao kitchen and individuals with integrity, best practice and the pursuits of excellence. With community approaches, we shall maintain an open, friendly and honesty approaches to customers, colleagues and stakeholders at all time.


Employees and Contractors are expected to act within Commonwealth, State, local laws. If anytime, a person does not believe the instruction are legitimate, then the matter can be raised with senior manager for consideration.

Computer and Internet

Employees and Contractors may be given access to computers, servers and/or internet connections. We ask not to have activity relating to inappropriate websites and materials, including gambling, porn sites and other such content. Downloading of large volumes of content from the internet is also to be avoided. Texting, email and social media during work time is to be avoided unless there is emergency reason.

Intellectual property/copyright

Employees and Contractors will come into possession of products, data, documents, information and materials of Otao kitchen in the performance of their duties. All such materials constitute the property of Otao kitchen and shall not be made available or otherwise utilised to any other any party without the written consent to Otao kitchen.

Occupational health & safety

Employees and Contractor must use all reasonable endeavors to ensure that a safe and clean working environment exists all times. Any incident that occurs must be reported to and the relevant report procedures followed.

Security of information

Customer experience starts from website, customer documentation, products and service, brochure, our terms and conditions. Customers have clear expectations when booking with us. All staff must read them. Any information and confidential information acquired by Employees and Contractors in the performance of their duties, especially information of relevance to competitors, must be held in the strictest confidence. Personal details of guests shown on bookings need to be treated with care and disposed of accordingly.

What about copy right laws?

You can use our materials. According the copy right law you may ALSO:

  • Make a single copy from chapter from a book. An article from a periodical or newspaper.  A short story, short essay, or short poem whether, or not from a collective work. A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.  A short excerpt (up to 10 percent) from a performable unit of music such as a song, movement, or section, for study purposes.
  • Make multiple copies of the above for one-time lessonroom distribution: Do not make copies for students who are not in your own lesson. Include notice of copyright on first page or by copying the page that includes  copyright. Are selective and sparing in choosing poetry, prose, and illustrations (for example, in  using a book, copy no more than one chapter). Do not use copies to substitute for Anthologies or collective works.  Make no charge to participants beyond the actual cost of photocopying.
  • Make a single copy or record of customer performances for evaluation. Show a legally purchased or rented video in lesson
  • Written permission must be obtained whenever photocopying or other activities do not adhere to the above guidelines. Permission should be requested for a specific instance or scheduled lesson. In most cases blanket permission is not available.
  • Please plan ahead since acquiring written permission can take significant amounts of time. If what you would like to do for your lesson is not included in the above list, it is most likely against copyright law.

Promote Other business, Cause or Organisation?

  • Participants in a lesson primarily to learn new skills. They expect the Trainer to be knowledgeable in the topic areas of the lesson. They do not expect sales pitches or calls to join a cause, a business or organisation.
  • Lesson descriptions in the brochure and on the web site should represent the true nature of the lesson If the Trainer is associated with a commercial business, group or cause, this should be stated in the brochure.
  • Lesson time will not be used to overtly and explicitly sell a product or service, promote a cause or the joining of any group or organization.
  • Lesson handouts and/or Confirmation Notice additional information will not contain logos or other explicit references to a business or group unless they are integral to facilitating the lesson and have been pre-approved by us.
  • Literature, including flyers and business cards, that are oriented to the trainer’s financial interests, or actively promotes a cause or group, will not be distributed in lesson. Such literature may be made available, AT THE PARTICIPANT’S REQUEST, outside of lesson time.
  • Presentation of a lesson using a Trainer from a business or group does not imply endorsement of that business or group by us.
  • We are not responsible or liable for any activities that take place outside of the lesson between the Trainer and participants
  • These policies are in place to protect both participants and the trainer. Please discuss any concerns or questions you may have with us before you finalize your lesson plans.

Alcohol/ Drug

  • No consumption of alcohol is allowed during the performance of work related duties.

Public Liability

  • We have Public Liability for our business. An example would be this protection would apply if an individual made a claim against the trainer or us for injury or property damage due to the alleged negligence of the trainer. This is not accident or medical insurance. We ask your cooperation in reporting accidents or unsafe conditions immediately.
  • Extension of this liability protection is contingent on the satisfactory completion of all necessary paperwork prior to teaching a lesson. This includes a completed and signed trainer Application form, Tax Form, Verification of Employment Eligibility form and a signed Trainer Appointment Letter on file. 
  • Participants agree to a simple liability waiver as a part of the registration process for every lesson.  A more comprehensive waiver is used for lesson  that have been judged to have a higher degree of risk associated with them. This comprehensive waiver is also available for use with all lesson.
  • A copy can be requested from our office.

Tour or field trip

  • Often it enhances the content of a lesson to take a field trip. In most cases, lesson participants must be able to arrange their own transportation or car pools or walking.
  • If a lesson will include a field trip, this information must be included in its description.
  • You may not take customers on your car unless they sign a comprehensive waiver. It is best to order the large taxi.



Your Job Appointment

  • You will be appointed as either as a casual staff or a contractor. An Otao kitchen employee works in our business and is part of our business, whereas a Otao kitchen contractor is running their own business with their own ABN.
  • The contract letter of appointment will have specific terms, lesson and nontransferable. You can return the letter if you decide not to teach. Payment of your wages for casual employee or fee for contractor (with ABN) each Tuesday upon completion of teaching and compliance with Otao kitchen policies and procedures. Please complete necessary paper work (application form, tax, proof of employment eligibility and direct deposit bank account number).

Contact Details / Reference Waiver

  • Participants have question and wish to speak to a trainer. In most case we can help but sometime a trainer would be the best resource.
  • If you are willing to release your contact details, please complete a waiver form in the trainer application.
  • The same practice applied when you want to have reference for your new job with other organisation. You will need to notify us in writing that we maybe used as your reference.

Trainer and Assistant Performance

Your performance is evaluated through the results of participant evaluations, both solicited and unsolicited, received by us. In-lesson observation and evaluation of teaching performance can be requested from your lesson but is not used as a major evaluation tool.

  • Evaluation is based on these key factors:
  • Adherence to schedule and lesson plan.
  • Overall organisation and planning.
  • Knowledge of subject area.
  • Level of effective communication  and involvement with participants.
  • Level of enthusiasm, interest and responsiveness to participants. 
  • Appropriateness of topics and level of lesson material. Overall kitchen training environment.
  • Openness to opposing views, ideas and alternate discussion.
  • Equal treatment of all participants.
  • Freedom from advocacy, bias towards one opinion and sexist or racist language.
  • Level of variety in methods of presentation used.
  • Adherence to our policies and procedures.
  • Recruitment and Lesson

Selection for Trainers

  • The following factors are considered when deciding on future lesson offerings and the use of your services as a trainer:
  • Demonstrated community need, response to lesson offering, food trends.  That must contribute to the financial health of the business.  We must offer lessones that reflect the needs of our community as expressed in booking and the ability of the lesson to make that needed contribution.
  • Participant reaction and evaluation. Lesson participants are our primary evaluators since these lesson are offered for them.
  • Availability of necessary space, facilities and/or lesson materials.
  • Seasonal nature (if any) of lesson offering.
  • Previous performance by trainer based on participant evaluation, reaction.

Further Appointment for Trainers

  • Continued teaching in future is our discretion. Your Trainer Appointment Letter is for the term listed only and does not imply any commitment to future use of your services.
  • Trainers who perform satisfactorily in lessons will be offered receive first choice in lessons scheduling. Should you decide not to teach a lesson or lessons please let us know.
  • If you are interested in proposing a new lesson please contact us. The factors outlined above will be used in evaluating any lesson proposals.



Team Member and Trainers Absence

  • If a staff member or trainer becomes ill during a lesson or needs to go home for reasons of a personal nature or more serious injury or illness.
  • The senior staff member on duty must contact Manager for assistance in arranging replacement. At all times we must ensure that sufficient staffing remains with customers, and that solutions are found with this in mind.



We have identified target market as: 1. Baby Boomer Women, 2. Mothers with children, 3. Health related groups i.e fitness groups, 4. Young professionals without children. Cooking lessones are popular for our target customers. This age group show eagerness to learn to cook. They like share with their friends and family. They are open to learn life skills. They are also taking seriously about their health and well being.

Our marketing strategy is designed to attain the return customer and words of mouth customer by providing quality lessons with prompt turnaround 3-4 hours. This short lessons is focusing on fun, fresh and healthy motto. Our strategy is to tailor under $150 price per lesson. We continue to apply digital marketing strategy and public relations to get first time customers.

We aim to introduce Australians to better choice of eating and practical skills that encourage them to cook and eat healthy. The experience will help them to: Identify and select healthy foods , Understand culture and how it best prepare, Prevent injury and learn hygiene, Learn food preparation skills, Appreciate and confidence in their ability to cook

The best form of publicity is positive word of mouth from participants who had a great learning experience in your lesson. Thank you, in advance, for doing a great job! A  brochures listing the lessons available is published and online. Our web site is a major source of publicity and offers on-line registration. Advertisements are also placed in food related magazine and area newspapers. From time to time, feature stories also appear in the newspapers and the internet. Specific lesson advertising through simple posters/email is done on a limited basis. All requests for media coverage must be approved by us. We do have the ability for online booking. We can also create a link from our web site to social websites. If you have a personal web site and/or photographs or materials that you think will help promote your lesson, please work with us to create link(s) from our web site. Trainers can do their own additional publicity as long we are consulted beforehand and approval of that publicity is received from Otao kitchen.

Managing Operations and Customer Service

Our customers should be treated with the importance they deserve. Our service is built on a friendly open manner, being proactive, listening to your customer, and having empathy. Customers will be provided opportunity for feed-back. This approach is to get more honest and constructive response from our guests and these will be shared among team members.

We expect to work to these priorities 1. Safety. Is always our first priority in every case. 2. Customer experience. Providing a rewarding experience that meets or exceed expectations. 3. Presentation. Always ensuring we show a professional and well organized operation 4. Efficiency. Always being mindful of inefficiency and looking for smarter ways to run our operations.

Lesson Preparation and Delivery

Trainers are responsible for mis en place for their lesson. Some bulk preps may have been done at the beginning of the week so please check. We take care of most of the logistical details in making lesson happen. We prepare and organise lessons. We assist in developing lesson content and instructional design if you feel the need for assistance. We can also provide information on the nature and types of participants who enroll in the program, will orient you to Otao kitchen procedures and policies, and serve as a liaison with customers and you. Other team members can help your lessons but do not see this as their authority roles. If you would like feedback on your teaching via a lesson observation, please let other team member knows.       

We take care of most of the logistical details in making lesson happen

Financial Reporting and Cost Control

Supplies must be budgeted and mostly will be ordered prior for lesson. This is part of the initial planning of a lesson. Before purchasing any extra supplies, discuss your needs and budget with us.

You will be reimbursed for the materials after submitting the dated, itemized original receipt listing your purchases. When submitting receipts for reimbursement of lesson supply expenses we need the ORIGINAL receipts. The reimbursement will be direct deposited in the same account as you specified for trainer payments

Handouts: excessive handouts are rarely necessary or used by participants. Think carefully about the number and size of the handouts you supply, concentrating on those that reinforce the learning or provide documentation that participants may need after the lesson is completed. They can use their devices to access the document if they want to.


Effective Adult learning

Take a moment and remember the best learning situation in your life so far. Reflect on that learning situation and decide what factors made that experience great for you. Did your factors include being fully engaged in the learning? How about an enthusiastic and passionate trainer? A trainer who really listened to what you had to contribute?

Did you mention being challenged in a safe, respectful environment? And learning by doing? Even if you didn’t, as you reflect on that experience, you will most likely find that those factors were included in that learning situation that you enjoyed so much.

There has been researches on what contributes to an effective learning environment for adults. Malcolm Knowles was perhaps the most famous researcher in this area. In his groundbreaking work in the 1950’s and 60’s Dr. Knowles determined that learning in adults was most effective when the environment included factors of: Respect  Safety Immediacy Relevance  Engagement.

Adults learn best when they feel that they are being respected and their prior experience is acknowledged and incorporated into the learning. They feel safe in the lesson environment, they can see the immediate applicability of the learning to something that is relevant to their lives, and they are
engaged in the learning process, i.e. when they are learning by doing. Dr. Knowles research further showed that adults can recall: 20% of what they hear, 40% of what they see and hear and 80% of that they do!

Customers need to do something with the new information they are receiving effectively integrate it into their lives and retain the information for future use.

Other researchers have found that to effectively learn something we must use the whole body in the learning. Our brain must process the new knowledge (cognitive learning), our heart must explore how we feel about this new learning (affective learning) and our muscles must do something with the learning (psychomotor learning). To truly know something our learning must involve all three domains.

12 Principles for Effective Adult Teaching & Learning

Needs Assessment – the participation of the customers in informing and in some cases naming what is to be learned.

Safety – in the environment and the process, for both the participants and the trainer

Sound Relationship – between the trainer and the customers for learning and development.

Sequence and Reinforcement – moving from simple concepts to complex, from group supported learning to solo efforts and reflection, and then using repetition of facts, skills and attitudes in diverse, engaging and interesting ways.

Praxis – action (learning) with reflection (thought after doing)

Respect – for the customer, their life experiences, AND as subjects of their own learning

Cognitive, Affective & Psychomotor – involving ideas, feelings and actions, or the head, the heart, and the hands.

Immediacy – of the learning, seeing that is it instantly useable, using it right away.

Roles – clearly defined and developed for both customer and trainer. The trainer as a facilitator of learning, not a “professor” of knowledge.

Teamwork – using small groups. Customers in dialogue with each other, not just with the trainer.

Engagement – of the customers in what they are learning.

Accountability – How does the customer know that they know? The Trainer in accountable for preset objectives, not for the learning. As adults the customers will decide for themselves what they learn

Techniques for Creating Dialogue and Engagement

The Warm-Up

More than an icebreaker, a warm-up is an introductory learning task related to the topic at hand. It helps set the stage for greater learning throughout the session. A typical warm-up might ask people to reflect on a previous experience or activity and share their thoughts with a partner. Working in pairs first creates safety and time to talk in private conversation before having to open up to the entire group. The group can then be “sampled” (see below) for those things that they wish to share.

The Learning Task

A learning task is an open question, or problem, provided to a group or individual, along with the resources needed to create an answer. Learning tasks should be properly sequenced so that they build on one another and do not assume prior knowledge. A variety of learning tasks keeps your lesson fresh and can provide reinforcement of the learning.


Ask participants to share verbally their conclusions/discussion with the large group after they have worked in a small group or pair. A quick sample of two or three is usually sufficient. More can be taken (time permitting, of lesson) if the information is important and people are willing to share.


Never ask your participants to do something that you have not done yourself. Provide an example, or model, of what you expect them to do in a learning task. Your model should be real, and related to the actual learning. This insures that people understand the directions and provides an opportunity to ask questions before they begin the task.


Actively affirm all contributions given by your lesson members. This can be done verbally and through body language. Your customers need to know that they are being heard and that what they say is valued. Acknowledging their contributions with a “Thank you,” a smile and nod, or by echoing back what they have said provides that affirmation. Your participants are much more likely to contribute their own thoughts and ideas if they know their Trainer values them.

SNOW Cards/Post-Its

Use large post-its (Sticky Notes On the Wall) for participants to record their discoveries or conclusions. Have them post their snow cards on a flip chart or board, saying out loud what they have written. This captures the information generated and gets people to write, and say, what they came up with. Remember the research shows that we recall more of what we both say and do!

Teamwork/Small Group Work

Have people work in pairs or small groups of three or four. This creates a greater sense of safety (only having to talk to one or two other people vs. the whole lesson) and allows people time to think. Results of the small group work can be sampled verbally or by using snow cards. On important points/topics allow time for everyone who wants to speak, but do not require that everyone speak.

Read, Circle, Share

Have participants read a short (less than one page) passage of text. Beforehand give them the direction to circle or underline those things that stand out or strike them in the passage. The group is then sampled for the things that people picked out as they read. Important points can be reinforced and customers are given a chance to share what is important to them

Open Questions

Asking questions that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” requires greater thought and reflection by your participants. “Do you have any questions?” becomes “What questions do you have?”. “Is everything clear?” turns into “What else would you like to explore around this topic?”. Allow for silence when using open questions – people need time to think!

Critical Incident/Case Study

Providing a scenario or short case study followed by a short series of open questions or some form of analysis offers the opportunity for strong reinforcement of previous topics and opportunity for application to the customers own life. The scenario must be close enough to be relevant yet distant enough for the audience to feel comfortable dealing with the issue(s) presented.

The Question Bin

Hang a piece of flip chart paper on the wall with the headline “The Question Bin”. When people ask questions that are relevant, but not exactly timely, have them write the question on a snow card and post it in the bin. Then before a break or at the end of the session take time to visit the questions in the bin. People are welcome to put questions up at any time, and reminded to take down their question should it eventually get answered in the lesson of the workshop.

Bouncing the Question

When appropriate, put a question from a participant back to the audience. Allow them to answer the question based on what they have learned so far. You can incorporate your own responses (allow two to three others to respond first!) as people answer and the discussion progresses. This is a great way for people to reflect on what they have learned and reinforce it by saying it out loud.

Web Chart

Ask your participants what connections they see between the various items posted or written on a chart or chalkboard. Have them actually draw lines making the connections and explain why they see a connection. The finished “web” graphically shows the interconnectedness of the various topics/items on the chart.

Bumper Stickers

Have participants/pairs create a bumper sticker demonstrating a point or important factor. Provide bumper sticker sized paper and markers for people to use. Encourage creativity and limit the time they have to create the bumper sticker (Allowing only 3 to 5 minutes creates a lot of energy!).

Gallery Walk

After having pairs/small groups create a graphic representation of a concept or idea (like the bumper sticker) have them post their work on the wall. As a group, walk around and review everyone’s work. Have each pair/group explain their drawing. Provides both visual learning, verbal reinforcement and a psychomotor activity.

Put It To Music

Have pairs or small groups create (and perform!) a song that synthesizes the learning so far. This should only be used with a group that is already very comfortable with each other. The songs should be short (3 to 5 lines) and sung to popular/known melodies. Make sure you model an example for the group (making a fool of yourself first! – never ask a group to do something you would not do yourself). Again, like the bumper sticker, limit the work time (5 minutes maximum!).


A transition summarizes what was just covered and connects it to the next topic. It helps the customer review what has been covered and know where the learning is going.

Synthesis Task

A synthesis task allows participants to pull things together and reflect on what they have learned. It provides good reinforcement and opportunity to represent important points in a new way. A case study, a video clip, a short summary reading, or a list of open questions can all be made into synthesis tasks.

Feedback – Force Field Analysis

One easy and safe way to get verbal feedback on your lesson is to use a force field analysis approach. At the end of a session ask two questions:

What did you like about today’s presentation?

What suggestions do you have for improving this presentation?

Deal with each question separately, in the order listed above. If people offer suggestions for improvement during the first question politely ask them to hold the thought until the second question is posed. When participants do offer suggestions acknowledge them with a “thank you” and reserve judgment. You do not need to justify your lesson in front of the entire lesson or offer excuses. This is an effective and safe way for you to get oral feedback that all benefit from hearing. A written feedback form should also be used for those who want to make private comments.

Creating an Environment for Effective Adult Learning

To insure a quality experience in your Mini Lesson give some serious thought to how you will make the learning effective in your lesson. You can steal the ideas and techniques listed above. Whatever your lesson plans keep in mind the principles outlined above. What will you do to help people remember the important points you want to make? In what ways will you draw out people’s previous experience and help them apply this new learning to their own lives? How will your customers….. know they know…..what you are teaching?  What techniques will you use to engage your customers in a dialogue about the learning? How will you insure that people learn using not only their minds but their opportunities do you provide for safely learning by doing?


You are encouraged to plan for and carry out the evaluation process to provide information they feel they need to improve their lesson and become a better trainer. This can be informal (asking participants for their comments) to formal (a typed, pre-planned form). Please consult us if you have questions about evaluations or the proper methods to use.  We will do participant evaluations  for a small sample of lesson via a web-based survey.  All significant feedback received from your lesson will be shared with you. A sample copy of a printed evaluation form can be used to give participants the option to return them independently to us if they prefer.

Sepcial space, equipment and facility

It is important that we evaluate space and facility needs in advance/while planning lesson. We face the  limitations in obtaining space, equipment and facilities. Your understanding, flexibility, and prompt cooperation in planning will help us in doing our best to obtain proper need for lesson.

The internet

Access to the internet can be a valuable resource or teaching tool in cooking lessons. Access to the internet can be made available via our computer/ ipad and phone using WiFi. In all cases  trainers/customers must provide their own devices for this access. We can provide guest ID’s and passwords for you and your lessons.

Lesson operation

Assume your lesson is running unless you hear from us. You can check the status of your lesson anytime on our web site or call our office to confirm present enrollment. Our lesson database is internet-based and “live” meaning the enrollment numbers you see are current and an accurate count of the number of people in any lesson section at that moment. Decisions on canceling lessons due to low enrollment are made 2 business days before lessons are scheduled to begin. You will be notified only if your lesson is canceled. No Trainer Fee payment is made for canceled lessons. In the event a lesson is canceled, participants receive a full refund.

Who is in your lesson?

We will have a print out for each lesson. We will use this print out as part of your participation report. We will email l that roster to you if you want to. Please take attendance at each lesson session. Only registered participants are allowed to attend. Ask people who have registered late, or who transferred, to show their lesson confirmation notice.

Late booking and payment are accepted if you have seat/supply for them. If a participant is not on the roster and does not have a confirmation receipt, please give them a booking form, add their name,  address, phone and credit cards detail. Explain to the participant that they should book  with the before the next lesson. Please made a note on your roster. Unregistered participants are not allowed in any lesson. 

We maintain waiting lists as well. If you are contacted by a participant about getting into your lesson, please check with us or the system first. Do NOT promise them a space. We must be fair to those may already be on a waiting list for your lesson.

At times there maybe a person requests, who wish to observe a lesson. Please ask them to book and pay. You may not let friends sit in on your lesson. . Our (and your) liability coverage is contingent upon having only registered participants in our lessons and your compliance with this procedure.

How do we set up lesson room and find things around?

Unless your lesson is held in a specialized facility, the exact room set up will be the same in advance. All tools and equipments must be returned to the same space as you take them. 

Difficult customers

Disruptive behaviour customers can occasionaly enter in our lessones. If the customers can be not be dealt with informal manner by telling the customers you need to speak to them and set up a face to face in the back room . In the meeting, tell the customer what their behaviour is not acceptable. and and ask them to tell you from their perspective how they would propose to do to change that behaviour Then you decide what should do with them, may direct them to leave and notify Manager or You can speak to Manager on duty. If the customers still do not leave the premises i.e other customer or trainer feel threatened or very uncomfortable then we will get the police to  come. Thsi must be handled with care.

Some customers may have emotional or mental health disorders. While such customer may be considered disabled and fall under the projection of Rehab Laws. They are expected to have same standard with other students, therefore trainer need to be aware of these.