Twenty international TAFE Queensland commercial cookery students had the unique opportunity to showcase their skills to some of the Sunshine Coast’s leading chefs at an event aimed at shaping the future of the local hospitality industry.
HONE brought more than 35 of the Sunshine Coast’s most critically acclaimed and influential chefs together at TAFE Queensland’s Mooloolaba campus, enabling them to network and collaborate with fellow industry experts, all while dining on a decadent degustation menu created and served by students.
TAFE Queensland Faculty Director of Business, Hospitality and Language (East Coast region), Jo Charters said HONE’s goal was to bring talented chefs from the Sunshine Coast’s most successful restaurants together under one roof for an occasion they were hoping to make an annual event.
“The Sunshine Coast is a hospitality hub and our region is lucky to have such a diverse range of incredibly innovative and talented chefs at the forefront,” Ms Charters said.
“HONE offers these prestigious chefs a rare opportunity to meet and work towards strengthening the local industry by sharing their ideas for collaboration and coming up with solutions to any universal issues they are facing,” she said.
“The event also provides TAFE Queensland with a platform to showcase our industry standard facilities and innovative, hands-on approach to training, while ultimately putting our skilled students in the spotlight in front of potential employers.”
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The students prepared and served seven courses over two hours, providing the chefs in attendance with plenty of time to savour their meals, network, tour the facilities and witness the students in action.
Chris Hagan, head chef at Locale Noosa Restaurant and Bar, said HONE had been a great way to catch up with his peers, colleagues and friends within the industry and brainstorm ideas.
“Getting together like this, we get to hear about different people’s issues, where some of us are going through them and some have overcome them, so it’s been great to be able to sit and chat and enjoy some delicious food prepared by these students,” Mr Hagan said.
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Mr Hagan said the event was an important opportunity for industry to support TAFE Queensland and students entering their sector.
“I’ve been working with (TAFE Queensland cookery teacher) Paul for a few years across a couple of venues and have always tried to support the students that come through and help train them as well,” he said.
“They are the future of this industry so it’s important to try and give them a good stepping stone and point them in the right direction.”
To find out more about TAFE Queensland’s cookery and hospitality courses, visit tafeqld.edu.au or call 1300 308 233, and see where TAFE can take you.