Three courses give a taste of fine dining out bush 

Laramba Community School students prepare for the nights' feast

Anyone looking for a quality ‘feed’ should consider chicken stir fry in puff pastry, followed by sirloin on a bed of sweet potato mash and finished off with chocolate apple crumble.

That’s what the six vocational and technical education (VTE) students of Laramba Community School prepared, cooked and served to 15 guests of the Anmatjere Council last week.

With the assistance of Alice Springs-based VTE cookery lecturer Hayley Tobin and her partner, Jason, the students gained practical hospitality experience at their community, 200 km north-west of Alice Springs.

Guests and members of the Anmatjere Council were then hosted at the school, where the restaurant setting was complete, down to the white table cloths and cutlery. Preparation, cooking and serving was mostly completed by the students, with food prepared two days before the event at the aged care home and cooked at the community kiosk.

‘Recreating a dining experience out bush is improving their confidence, team-work skills and gives them practical experience to cook and serve in industry time limits and work in front of others,’ said lecturer Hayley Tobin of the students involved.

Students were enrolled in Certificate I in Kitchen Operations and were assessed on-site.

‘It takes time to get through to the students but once they start to see what they have achieved, they’re very keen,’ she said. ‘They took directions really well and were clearly proud of their achievement.’

It’s the second dining setup Hayley has completed in communities and she intends to recreate the experience at others around the Territory.

‘I love it at Laramba because the people are kind and generous and are always happy to see you,’ she said.

‘Students learn a lot when they are involved in the whole event from start to finish and I believe it’s one of the best ways to teach them. It’s an experience I really enjoy.’