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Pang dishes up second cookbook, and new recipes with a bang

30/03/2022. By Carmelle Wilkinson.

Cook, author, business owner and dumpling king – Brendan Pang is on one impressive culinary journey.

Former Masterchef contestant and Perth “Dumpling King” Brendan Pang (BA Social Work, 2016) always knew he wanted to work with people.

After graduating from Curtin University, he landed a dream job in Broome in the field of child protection.

Throwing himself into the Broome lifestyle, Brendan enjoyed working with local kids and even taught boxing at the local youth club.

But it wasn’t long before he switched the boxing gloves for oven mittens and was accepted into the 2018 season of Masterchef Australia.

Finishing in the top 10, Brendan wowed the judges and viewers with his drool-worthy dumplings and dipping sauces.

“Social work will always be a part of me. I’ve always been passionate about working with people and I guess I’m still doing that. Just in a different way,’’ he said.

Nowadays Brendan is setting tastebuds on fire with his dangerously delicious dumplings and lip-smacking noodles.

With a second cookbook in the works and more pop-up cooking classes on the way, the 29-year-old is winning over Perth foodies one tasty morsel at a time.

Born into a large Chinese-Mauritian family, the former social worker turned food personality was lucky to experience a smorgasbord of food influences including Indian, Creole, French and Chinese.

“Mauritian food culture is so rich and diverse. I was lucky to grow up surrounded by a lot of tasty food,’’ he said.

“I remember on school holidays spending time in the kitchen with my grandmother making noodles and wontons from scratch and baking with my Mum.”

Brendan’s interest in food was sparked at a young age, cooking alongside his Grandma and Mum in the kitchen.

Brendan’s Fremantle based airstream kitchen – Bumplings at The Sunshine Harvester Works – is his brainchild, a nod to his heritage and a full-time creative outlet for his obsession with dumplings.

Packed with flavour and charged with inspiration, it’s not hard to see why these finger-licking bites are so popular.

Brendan’s food is made from the heart and packed with flavour.

“I enjoy cooking from the heart with no frills or thrills. Just simple, tasty food that people can enjoy with their family and friends,’’ he said.

“For me, I find making dumplings therapeutic. They are versatile and delicious but also extend to other cultures and cuisines – such as Japanese gyozas and Italian ravioli and tortellini.”

Bumplings Perth is a must visit at the Sunshine Harvester Works in Fremantle.

Since his big break on Masterchef Australia, Brendan has been on one impressive culinary journey.

“A friend of mine who worked at a bakery at the time called me and encouraged me to apply. I had thought about it in the past, but after he mentioned it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I decided to just go for it,’’ he said.

Nothing warms the soul more than a hot steaming bowl of Brendan’s Red Curry Chicken Wonton Soup.

“It coincided with Mum opening her own cake business and my uncle leaving his engineering career to open a café, so the timing just felt right.

“I always wanted to work for myself and pursue something I really loved, and I am so grateful I did, because Masterchef was the experience I needed to kick-start my career in food.”

His first cookbook “This Book is about Dumplings” was so well received he decided to write another.

Brendan’s first cookbook “This Book About Dumplings” was well received by dumpling devotees.

“The next book will mainly feature noodles and noodle inspired dishes,’’ Brendan said.

“You don’t realise how much work goes into a cookbook, but it’s been a year long commitment and I’m looking forward to its release later this year.”

“I’m so grateful for Masterchef, it really was the turning point in my career and opened a lot of doors. A lot of people go on Masterchef and return to what they were doing before, but I wanted to keep the momentum going and ride on the success of the show to really make the most of the opportunity,’’ he said.

Brendan’s success in the Masterchef kitchen was the platform he needed to kick-start his culinary journey.

So how did this cool, calm and collected cook survive the heat of the Masterchef kitchen?

“Haha I’m lucky I cope with stress well, I have a pretty thick skin,’’ he said.

“If something stresses me out, I go back to basics and reflect on why I’m doing it in the first place and that’s usually enough to keep me going.

“While I like to push myself, I’m always mindful of staying true to myself in the process.

“In life there are going to be people who judge you, but it’s important not to take it too seriously. Don’t take it to heart.”

In an emotional Facebook post in 2019, Brendan took his own advice and publicly announced he was gay.

Brendan remembers the joy of sitting around the table when he was younger, eagerly awaiting his Mum’s delicious meals.

‘My name is Brendan Pang and I’m 26 years old… but, for as long as I can remember and up until the age of 24 I struggled with my sense of identity,’ he wrote.

‘As a gay male, I had feelings of being “different” very early on, and as I navigated the bumpy road into adulthood, I went through some pretty dark times from feeling pressured to change who I was, to experiencing high levels of social anxiety.

‘Thankfully, with the help of a strong and supportive network (my family and friends), I was able to not only survive the complexity of mental health, but thrive and become a stronger, happier, comfortable and proud ME.’

Being his true self is certainly paying off – with the fan favourite attracting nearly 1000 dumpling devotees to his pop-up cooking school in Mt Hawthorn last year.

Bumplings cooking classes are fun, interactive and sure to get your taste buds going.

“I was overwhelmed by the support for our pop-up Bumplings cooking school, and the exciting news is it’s not over yet,’’ he said.

“In May we are hoping to launch more pop-up classes in Bicton.”

Fresh, quality WA produce form the basis of Brendan’s dishes.

Brendan said the cooking classes and online delivery service were introduced during Covid as measures to diversify and extend his business.

Brendan’s rainbow dumplings a sight to behold.

“We’ve been lucky here in WA that Covid didn’t affect us too much these past two years, we managed to weather it quite well. But lockdowns and restrictions did encourage me to get creative.’’ Brendan said.

“When we first launched our delivery service, I was actually driving around Fremantle and surrounds delivering the food to customers which was really cool.”

Delivery anyone? During Covid, Brendan was personally dropping-off Bumplings orders.

When Brendan isn’t cooking up a storm in the kitchen he loves dining out with friends (Japanese is his go to) or enjoying Dim Sum at Canton Bay Restaurant in Northbridge with his Mum and Grandmere.

“I am proud of who I am, and I am humbled to have been able to show it on the plate and have it celebrated by the rest of Australia,’’ he said.

Looking ahead, Brendan hopes to open another Bumplings, write more delicious cookbooks and continue teaching people the art, enjoyment and therapeutic power of making dumplings.

If you’d like to find out more about Brendan’s upcoming cooking classes please visit his website here.

___

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Curtin graduate and Perth surrealist Liam Dee’s (BA Illustration, 2010) latest self-portrait, ‘Oversaturation’ reflects the life of a colourblind artist. 🎨🖌

Recently named as a finalist in the 2022 Lester Prize, for Liam, the process of painting himself came with many mixed emotions, as reflected through the impeccable detail and composition of the intricate work.

It was during his time studying graphic design at Curtin where Liam found his passion for fine art.

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His biggest piece of advice for aspiring artists and creatives is to expand your knowledge and push boundaries. 💫

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Check out more of Liam’s breathtaking work in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

#CurtinGrad #CurtinUniversity #art #exhibition #perth #perthart #perthartists #graduates #portrait #art #painting #surrealism #monochromatic #acrylic #contemporaryart #perthcreatives #australianart #australianartist

Curtin graduate and Perth surrealist Liam Dee’s (BA Illustration, 2010) latest self-portrait, ‘Oversaturation’ reflects the life of a colourblind artist. 🎨🖌

Recently named as a finalist in the 2022 Lester Prize, for Liam, the process of painting himself came with many mixed emotions, as reflected through the impeccable detail and composition of the intricate work.

It was during his time studying graphic design at Curtin where Liam found his passion for fine art.

“I guess I owe a lot to my time at Curtin, being a design student, it gave me a good understanding of visual communication, balance and composition but also helped me make lifelong friends and good industry contacts.”

His biggest piece of advice for aspiring artists and creatives is to expand your knowledge and push boundaries. 💫

“I like the idea that if DaVinci were alive today, he wouldn’t be a painter. He would be innovating on the forefront of technology with all the tools at his disposal. Do not limit your scope, expand your knowledge, and find mediums that push the boundaries.”

Check out more of Liam’s breathtaking work in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

#CurtinGrad #CurtinUniversity #art #exhibition #perth #perthart #perthartists #graduates #portrait #art #painting #surrealism #monochromatic #acrylic #contemporaryart #perthcreatives #australianart #australianartist
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[Image description: John Curtin Gallery’s Manager Kathleen Toomath with the located artwork by Ross Jones at Carrolup].

📸: Brad Coleman, John Curtin Gallery

#StolenGeneration #Carrolup #CarrolupCentreForTruthTelling #CarrolupCentre #CarrolupArt #FirstNations #AboriginalArt

Our global search for Carrolup artworks unearthed a historic piece drawn by 13-year-old Noongar artist, Ross Jones, more than 70 years ago. 🖤❤️💛

On hearing Curtin’s international search for works created by Australian First Nations children at WA’s Carrolup Native Settlement after they were forcibly removed from their families in the 1940s, Manjimup-based retired neonatal paediatrician Dr Patrick Pemberton recognised the piece in his home.

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The process of reconnecting Carrolup artworks with families is at the heart of Curtin’s Carrolup Centre for Truth-telling - an ambitious undertaking to create a permanent home for the collection in Australia and provide an opportunity for others to learn about this tragic period in Australian history. 

Tracing the art of a Stolen Generation: the child artists of Carrolup was supported by Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Western Australia, Australian High Commission in the United Kingdom, BHP, @aubritish, @johncurtingallery, @curtinuniversity, @porticolibrary , @ukaustraliaseason & @britisharts

If you think you may have found a historic Carrolup children’s artwork, get in touch with @John Curtin Gallery.

[Image description: John Curtin Gallery’s Manager Kathleen Toomath with the located artwork by Ross Jones at Carrolup].

📸: Brad Coleman, John Curtin Gallery

#StolenGeneration #Carrolup #CarrolupCentreForTruthTelling #CarrolupCentre #CarrolupArt #FirstNations #AboriginalArt
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For many cultures around the world, trees symbolise a creative source of storytelling. A writer puts pen to paper enlightened by Curtin’s brightest minds and leaders while sitting under a London plane tree on our Bentley campus.

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A passionate illustrator and creative designer, Nina’s mesmerising work has been featured in @grokmagazine, @curtinwritersclub,
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📍Buildings 202, 203 and 212, Manning Road entrance, Curtin Bentley.

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#CurtinGrad #CurtinUniversity #finearts #graduates #artschool #artschoolife #graduateartshow #contemporaryart #perthart #perthartist #perthartists #perthartlist #curtinlifeaustralia

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📍Buildings 202, 203 and 212, Manning Road entrance, Curtin Bentley.

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Curtin graduate Suguna Veerapandia had her eye on Yugen Paramesvaran from the moment she stepped foot at Curtin. 💘🎓

A bowling night arranged through mutual friends eventually drew them together, from there they exchanged numbers, met up the next day and it flourished from there.

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Congratulations to former Curtin student and two-time Olympian Peter Bol on being named the 2023 WA Young Australian of the Year. 💫

Originally from Sudan, Peter has become a household name by being the first Australian to make the 800m final in 53 years after winning his semi-final at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

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We are so proud of all the inspiring work you do Peter! 👏

Read Peter’s inspiring story in #CurtinCommons via the link in bio. 👆

📸: @ausdaywa

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We are so proud to see our bright alumni making such a tremendous impact on the world! 🌟

📸: @withmeaa

#CurtinGrad #WAMediaAwards #RuralMediaAssociation #awards #media #journalist #leadership #femaleleaders #newsreporter #perth #perthlife

Congratulations to Daryna Zadvirna for being named WA Journalist of the Year – The Daily News Centenary Prize and winning the Feature Photograph/Photographic Essay category for her coverage of the war in Ukraine. 👏

The 26-year-old had been a print journalist for less than three years before she took personal leave, bought a camera, and jetted off to Ukraine to tell the stories of the Russian invasion of her homeland.

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We are so proud to see our bright alumni making such a tremendous impact on the world! 🌟

📸: @withmeaa

#CurtinGrad #WAMediaAwards #RuralMediaAssociation #awards #media #journalist #leadership #femaleleaders #newsreporter #perth #perthlife
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After noticing a gap in the community for easily accessible diabetes education services, Teresa opened @pdchealthhub by Perth Diabetes Care to challenge the status quo of diabetes care in WA.

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Growing up watching her family succumb to the complications of diabetes, Teresa Di Franco made it her mission to make life easier for those living with the condition.

After noticing a gap in the community for easily accessible diabetes education services, Teresa opened @pdchealthhub by Perth Diabetes Care to challenge the status quo of diabetes care in WA.

For many the diagnosis can be life-altering as it often comes with little warning, so Teresa was driven to offer a more holistic approach to diabetes education that considers both the physical and mental impacts of the condition.

Teresa credits her time at Curtin for giving her the knowledge and experience to make a difference in this space as a credentialled diabetes educator.

“To be in a position where I can work with people living with diabetes to feel heard, safer, more confident in their management of the disease is very rewarding.”

This #WorldDiabetesDay we are proud of all our inspiring Curtin graduates making an impact in this space. ❤️

Read more inspiring graduate stories in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinGrad #WorldDiabetesDay #EducationtoProtect #diabetes #diabetesawareness #diabetesmanagement #community #education #healthcare #wellbeing
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Congratulations to Pharmacy and Philosophy graduate, Dr Mustafa Atee for receiving the Innovation Award at our Alumni Awards Ceremony. 👏💫
 
Mustafa is the research and practice lead at @hammond_care’s Dementia. Centre. His PhD led to the development and commercialisation of @painchek ®, an artificial intelligence-powered pain assessment medical device that uses facial recognition to determine the presence of pain in non-verbal adults.
 
His work has been recognised in numerous state and national awards including the Innovator of the Year, WA Premier’s Science Award and the Australian Computer Society’s Gold Disruptor/ICT Researcher of the Year.
 
Watch Mustafa’s inspiring award winner video via the link in bio. 👆
 
#CurtinUniversity #CurtinGrad #AlumniAwards #Alumni #Awards #Painchek #digitalhealth #healthinnovation #agedcare #leadership #artificialintelligence #community #painmanagement

Congratulations to Pharmacy and Philosophy graduate, Dr Mustafa Atee for receiving the Innovation Award at our Alumni Awards Ceremony. 👏💫

Mustafa is the research and practice lead at @hammond_care’s Dementia. Centre. His PhD led to the development and commercialisation of @painchek ®, an artificial intelligence-powered pain assessment medical device that uses facial recognition to determine the presence of pain in non-verbal adults.

His work has been recognised in numerous state and national awards including the Innovator of the Year, WA Premier’s Science Award and the Australian Computer Society’s Gold Disruptor/ICT Researcher of the Year.

Watch Mustafa’s inspiring award winner video via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinUniversity #CurtinGrad #AlumniAwards #Alumni #Awards #Painchek #digitalhealth #healthinnovation #agedcare #leadership #artificialintelligence #community #painmanagement
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