As far as school assignments go, running a restaurant for a day is tough test but Camden High School’s students rose to the occasion today.
Year 11 hospitality students treated special guests to a long lunch made from scratch in the school’s kitchens.
They were supervised and marked by professional chef and MWLP work placement manager Michael Everett.
He said students enjoyed the day.
“They’ve all been smiling since they got here at 8.30 in the morning to prepare,” he said.
“The kids here are awesome, they are really switched on and prepared some great food.”
Approximately 60 guests were treated to an entree of salt and pepper calamari on a bed of Asian-style salad, a main of grilled garlic and rosemary lamb cutlets or sweet sesame chicken wings with buttered asparagus spears, sweet potato puree and lamb jus followed by white chocolate cake, dark chocolate mousse, raspberry coulis and chocolate shards.
The long lunch is the start of a pilot project to help senior students learn more about the hospitality industry.
Mr Everett hopes more schools will take part in the program.
“It’s something that came about because hospitality teachers are required to have three years of industry experience now but there are a lot of teachers who have been teaching for a long time and don’t have that experience,” he said.
“We provide assessment marks for children at the end of the day.
“We hope to show other schools what we did here so they can take it on as well.”
Student Isabella Mundell said the event was a great success.
“It was better than a normal assignment,” she said.
“It was the first time we had cooked on a large scale and it was interesting to see how it all works and how we all worked together.”
Year 9 students also helped to set the tables and serve the meals.
Mr Everett said all of the participating students had gained valuable on-the-job experience.
“It gives them a real insight into the hospitality industry,” he said.
“They are loving it and we have had really good feedback about the food.”
Department of Education senior pathway officer Lyn Kenny said the pilot project was encouraging.
“You can tell by the looks on the student’s faces just how important it is for them to be part of a hospitality function with real customers and done in industry timeframes,” she said.
“Let’s hope we see more young people join the hospitality industry.”