Cooking up a faux cafe

TWEED Shire schools will compete in their own version of Master Chef when the heat is turned up on an inter-school competition next month.

The popular Adopt-a-School program, now in its fourth year, pits high schools against one another in a mock-cafe competition.

Together with industry mentors from clubs and restaur- ants, students design their own cafes from scratch, complete with name, decor and menu, and run the operation for judges and teachers.

Coming on board for the first time this year is Murwillumbah Services Club, which has been paired with close-by Mt St Patrick College.

Year 9 food technology and Year 11 hospitality students were this week given a tour of the club's renovated industrial kitchen by head chef Kelly Rohweder.

“I'm really excited about the program,” Mrs Rohweder said.

“I cannot wait to start mentoring the kids in the kitchen.

“It's a great way to introduce them to the in-demand hospi- tality industry.”

The only problem now is picking the lucky students, hospitality teacher Cath Ord said.

“Almost 20 students applied for five positions,” Ms Ord said.

“They're very enthusiastic; it's going to be hard choosing.”

Students had to write an application letter explaining why they should be chosen for a position.

This is the third year Mt St Patrick College has been involved with Adopt-a-School and Ms Ord said they are hoping “third time's the charm”.

“Two years ago we were placed second by one point,” she said.

“We haven't picked a theme yet. It's very preliminary.

“We have quite a large classroom to turn into the cafe.”

The competition officially starts next term and teams have August and September to de- velop their cafes, before the judging in late October and November.

The federally funded Adopt-a-School program, working with local community partnership Connect, aims to address the nationally identified skills shortage in the hospitality industry.

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