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Student cook support appreciated at Gourmet Escape

Gourmet Escape is the pinnacle of destination food and wine festivals. Over the years it has become internationally renowned for bringing celebrity chefs from all over the world to a little corner of the South West known as Margaret River for a dedicated celebration of fine food and wine. South Regional TAFE students have been fortunate to be part of the event for eight years, either working during the festival or volunteering back stage for chef demonstrations at the Gourmet Village.

Thanks to the huge support they receive from their lecturers, South Regional TAFE commercial cookery students have once again had the opportunity to volunteer at Gourmet Escape alongside celebrity chefs.  This year the set up was slightly different.

South Regional TAFE Margaret River cookery lecturers have worked closely with Gourmet Escape culinary managers to set up voluntary work placements which would immerse the Certificate III Commercial Cookery students in a satellite event. These events were held at restaurants and wineries around the region as part of Gourmet Escape. The students had the opportunity to support chef talent and provide meaningful assistance.

 Commercial cookery lecturer Amanda Smith travelled to the venues during the festival to support the students and check-in with them and their host chef. 

“The advantages of this is the culinary learning and experience provided to the students.” Amanda said.

“Experienced chefs would agree that some favourite cooking experiences, as a young cook starting out, come from the opportunity of being involved in voluntary events that are exciting and educational as well as working hard to help make the events successful.

“This year the students got to work with different teams and develop an understanding of different produce and preparation techniques as well as different kitchen cultures. They also had the chance to make some valuable industry contacts,” she said.

Feedback from the celebrity chefs and the restaurants was extremely positive with many of the chefs commenting on the professional and happy manner the students approached their work with, and the excellent kitchen and plating skills demonstrated.

The students fill in a log book, which has to be signed, as part of their TAFE training unit ‘Work effectively as a cook’ so this experience will greatly contribute to their course learning.

Congratulations to these students for supporting the following events:

  • Dinner at Amelia Park with Josh Niland − student Leslie Lam
  • Cullen Wines restaurant with Jo Barrett − student Maria san Pablo
  • Fervor with Kobus van der Merwe held at Fermoy Estate − student Sarah Ferguson
  • Fervor with Selassie Atadika held at Fermoy Estate −student Sarah Ferguson
  • Leeuwin Estate with Pierre Koffmann - students Daejin Seo and Anabelle Ronquillo
  • Yarri with Paul Carmichael − student Bobby San Pablo
  • Safari Club Cookout
    • Saturday dinner with Prateek Sadhu − student Daejin Seo , Sunday Lunch with Garima Arora and David Thompson – student Anabelle Ronquillo

Pictured is student Sarah Ferguson during Fervor with internationally renowned chef Kobus van der Merwe at Fermoy Estate.

Page last updated November 19, 2019