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Providing a five course degustation for 300 society ladies is a somewhat nail-biting experience for even the most seasoned of chefs, but throw in ‘rescued’ raw ingredients and more than 100 students, and the whole event just became a whole lot more intense.
That was the order of the day recently when Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology partnered with the Ladies Long Lunch to deliver a fundraising event to raise much needed funds for both Good Neighbour (who facilitate food rescue initiatives, distributing back into communities as well as neighbourhood community projects) and Te Aranui Youth Trust (empowering youth along positive pathways to success).
Toi Ohomai’s work-integrated learning approaches mean partnering to host events like the Ladies Long Lunch enables students to get hands-on with working in a high pressure real-life work environment. It’s that hands-on applied learning that ensures Toi Ohomai students are work-ready and are snapped up by industries throughout New Zealand and the world.
The 2017 event was a first for the Ladies Long Lunch crew in offering the fine ladies of Tauranga something a little different – fine dining prepared using only rescued food. Chef tutors Peter Blakeway and Shane Yardley had worked with Good Neighbour before, showcasing different ways in which rescued food can be turned into delicious and highly nutritious family meals.
Meg Jones, Head of Marketing & Communications at Toi Ohomai, praised the work of the students and chefs who completely wowed the crowd.
"Catering for 300 discerning guests at a black tie event would scare even the most experienced chefs; for our team of students to deliver food of this calibre using rescued food is just incredible. Friday's event showed just why our hospitality and culinary team regularly win awards at regional and national culinary competitions. It was simply outstanding!
"The opportunity further helped us to support 'doing good in the hood' through supporting the two charities that the Ladies Long Lunch award. The fit was really good for Toi Ohomai, and we're thrilled the event was such a success for all of those involved."
Highlights from the five course degustation menu included an edible 'community garden' centre piece, an innovative 'breakfast' soup and everybody's favourite, the 'Treasure not Trash' dessert – a chocolate moulded 'rubbish tin' with layers of decadent tiramisu.
The event raised more than $100,000 for the charities involved and, even more importantly, helped to raise awareness and pledges of further support within the local community.
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Image: Credit Salina Galvan Photography