ASSUMPTION College has taken vocational training in hospitality to another level for its students with the Marlhes Restaurant.
Hospitality students are trained in all facets of restaurant functions and by obtaining the relevant work authority certification during the course, such as Responsible Service of Alcohol and Food Handlers Certificate, are able to find work immediately at a variety of venues.
The student staff are courteous professional and more than capable of handling their roles thanks to their expert tutelage from Head Chef Nigel Engel, once of Australia’s most highly decorated chefs and local restaurant manager Peiter Siebel.
Chef Engel is a life member of the Australian Federation of Chefs, a life member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international association of professionals in Gastronomy from over 80 countries dedicated to fine dining and a member of Les Toques Blanches, a worldwide recognised association of executive chefs.
While the Marlhes Restaurant is at Assumption College, with 19 ACK Year 10, 11 and 12 students undertaking study, both tutors are enthusiastic in ensuring all students within the district are given the opportunity to undertake training there.
Wallan Secondary College also has five students participating in the program and both Chef Engel and Mr Siebel are hopeful other schools will also take advantage of the exceptional facilities avaiable for students interested in a career in hospitality.
“It has always been the outlook that the Marlhes would be a local hub for hospitality training and expand to include other schools in the district,” Mr Siebel said.
“Video conferencing facilities are in the works so that students can attend classes via remote access and this is hoped to be operational from next year.”
“We aim to give all students a broad range of knowledge in service, from fine dining service, to café service to buffets. We aim to prepare all the students for what the industry is really like,” Chef Engel said.
“It is not just for those students who wish to enter this profession , it is also trains students in skills they can use and be employed in during their further study of choice.
“Hospitality also teaches people to work sequentially, how to study, how to work as a team and handle pressure and deal with difficult customers and errors, all skills valuable in any workplace.”
All students work under strictly regulated conditions. Wear full chef uniforms in the kitchen, smart and precise front of house uniforms, follow food safety guidelines, including the storage of food and cleanliness of workspaces.
“I am also very strict on their work ethic. On a day the restaurant is open, work begins at 1pm. That means they must be here, dressed and ready to start work at 1pm, not here, but still to get dressed and having a chat. That wouldn’t happen in a real workplace and this is “real world teaching” and that is why it is successful. These students learn in a kitchen that is the same as a real commercial kitchen.
They know how to use the equipment, what the rules are and that is why they can start work at any restaurant once their training is complete,” Chef Engel said.
Students in Year 10, 11 and 12 can undertake Vocational Industry based training at the Marlhes Restaurant.
Front of house operations are covered in subjects VET 1 & 2, with an introduction to kitchen operations, and kitchen service and cooking is covered in VET 3 & 4.
Chef Engel and Mr Siebel have nothing but praise for their VET students, with Chef Engel describing his return to cooking after years away from the craft as “a passion that has been reborn thanks to the energy and commitment shown by his students.”
The Marlhes Restaurant is named after the region in France the Christian Brothers originated from. The restaurant is open every fortnight on a Wednesday evening, with bookings available on the Assumption College website via the Trybooking program.
Bookings are full for all evenings of operation in term 2. Keen diners are encouraged to get in early for Term 3 openings.
Article source: Newspaper House Tuesday 24th March 2015