Cookery apprentice helps her workplace adapt to a 'new normal'

07 May 2020

Restaurants and cafes have been closed for dine-in services since late March, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. [email protected] Industrial Design Cafe, like many others in Australia, has been forced to adapt.

The team at Pod, led by Jess Haire and Fiona Marment (chef and front-of-house manager respectively), are undeterred, continuing to feed their community with a revised takeaway service by providing pre-packaged meals, coffee and other locally sourced grocery staples.

Jess' apprentice and VU Polytechnic third-year commercial cookery student, Jodie Langford, has been at the forefront in helping to think of new ways to keep the business moving forward.

The kitchen produces house made preserves, pickles and relishes that are for sale in the cafe. Pod supports community producers too by selling sourdough breads, eggs, honey, milk and other products. Pod offers take-home meals, ranging from soups, curries, pasta sauces and bakes, to breakfast items now no longer available for table service.

Jodie has learnt new techniques from this rapid change of practices, including bulk cooking, the cook/chill process and the correct labelling for allergen awareness.

Jess and his team have also been focusing on a range of take-home desserts to complement the variety of house-made cakes and slices.

The community support has been astounding and the impact of COVID-19 has had a positive aspect for this enterprising cafe.

Jodie will be graduating in 2020 as one of the first groups of industry apprentices since the reestablishment of VU Polytechnic’s Cookery, Hospitality, Tourism and Events department based at Footscray Nicholson Campus.

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (SIT30816) is a Free TAFE course.


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