Backstage Pass to The World of Hospitality

Thursday 23 February 2012, 2:20PM
By Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI)

A competition to add spice to the first school term is open for cookery students in Year 12 or 13 who want to be a chef. It is fairly titled as the Ultimate Work Experience, as the winners will have the opportunity to go backstage for two days to see what it is like to work in the fast-paced world of hospitality.

Career portal is promoting the competition to secondary schools, with a tempting prize package that will not only give the two winners a look behind the scenes of several high-profile Auckland hospitality businesses, but also see them rolling up their sleeves to help.

The prize starts with return flights to Auckland, if the winners are from other parts of the country, staying at the new 4.5 star Sudima Auckland Airport Hotel, where the students will go on a guided front of house tour. Professional career advisors and recruitment company Martarni Associates have given their time to talk to the students about their career aspirations and give them some pointers on how to go about achieving their goals.

The following day is an action-packed one, starting with breakfast at The Depot, chef, author and TV personality Al Brown’s new restaurant in Federal Street. Chef Kyle Street will take them from there to visit the Auckland wholesale produce markets, to see where many of The Depot and other restaurants source the fresh ingredients for their menus.

Then it’s across town to hospitality giant SKYCITY, where Paul Doyle, Executive Chef Conferencing will give them an overview of the catering demands he and his team deal with every day, feeding the many customers in SKYCITY’s restaurants and convention centre.

From there, it is over to Yael Shochat, the owner and chef of restaurant Ima Cuisine – serving Israeli Mediterranean fare - who will show them around her kitchen, and talk about how great food can lift customers’ spirits.

Then it is time to go back to the hotel, where the students will be on kitchen duty, helping to cook that evening’s dinner. Les Morgan, General Manager of the Sudima Auckland Airport Hotel and the hotel’s Head Chef will be among the guests served that dinner in the Visaya Restaurant.

After this truly ultimate work experience, the students will return to school, with a greater understanding of the varied and exciting career that being a chef offers them, and with ideas on how they can further develop their skills. All the hospitality businesses who have hosted them are keen supporters of fostering young talent, and agreed to give their time and insight to encourage the winners to plan careers in the hospitality industry.

Naturally, students keen to win this prize have to do some homework; answering some questions and writing a short essay on why they think they should win. Entries are open now on-line at; and the winners announced on March 22nd. Stories and videos about their Ultimate Work Experience will be on-line in late March.

For more information, contact, or call Blair Hillyard, on 027 244 2547

NZSkillsConnect is a career portal jointly owned and operated by the Aviation, Tourism and Travel Training Organisation (ATTTO) and the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI). Both these industry training organisations also work with secondary schools to encourage future stars into careers in aviation, hospitality and tourism.