On October 17, 105 guests attended a six-course degustation at our student-training restaurant, VenU, for the inaugural Charity Dinner. Staff and students prepared for the evening alongside industry chefs Ian Curley and Todd Moses of French Saloon and Kirk’s Wine Bar.
Ian commented on how impressed he was with the students’ skills and the opportunities hands-on learning provides.
“I think it’s very important to have this hands-on training – you’re setting them up for a career for the rest of their life. To have the industry connections is invaluable.”
Commercial Cookery student Dannielle Menzies was delighted to be able to work with the industry chefs and their teams.
“We have made some industry contacts – it’s a very good part of the course, because it also opens our doors and opens our eyes to know what’s out there besides our own little workplaces in our comfortable zone.”
In a speech by Manager of Hospitality, Tourism and Events, Shawn Vlaeminck, guests were reminded of how important it is for students to work with real customers and industry professionals to be fully prepared for their future employment. Guest chefs Ian Curley and Todd Moses of French Saloon and Kirk’s Wine Bar commented on the high ratios of teachers to students and small class sizes, and on how impressed they were with the students.
Profits from the night went to the first charity chosen for the dinner series, Brodie’s Law Foundation, to raise awareness about workplace bullying and to deliver prevention programs. A silent auction was held, in which $2109 was received in sales, for a total credit to the Foundation of $3933.
Watch the Charity Dinner video to see how our students contributed to the night and what the opportunity to give back this way meant to the students and chefs.
VU Polytechnic’s inaugural Charity Dinner is part of Victoria University’s new School for the Visitor Economy. This new cross-university school will provide the hospitality and tourism industries with an increased volume of qualified professionals to support rapid growth across the sector.