Taste of life after school: Canobolas students serve up meal for Rotary club

At 17 years old Caitlin White’s time as a student at Canobolas Rural Technology High School has almost come to an end.

About to step into a world where the job market changes almost as swiftly as the nation’s Prime Ministers, Caitlin has decided to keep her job options open.

Seeing hospitality as a growing and familiar industry, Caitlin is set to complete her Certificate II in Hospitality, alongside eight other year 12s who hope to graduate at the end of the year.

Together with the year 11 Commercial Cookery students and year 9-10 Food Technology students, the year 12 class prepared and will serve a two-course meal to 45 members of the Orange Rotary Club on Monday night. 

Caitlin said when it came to planning the menu they decided to keep things simple.

Inside the school building-turned-dining hall, the Rotary group will be served an alternating beef or chicken roast, with sticky date and lemon pudding desserts, as well as an assortment of mocktails to wash it down. 

They might whinge about it beforehand, but it’s always really positive, and they’re always happy to put their hand up to volunteer the next time.

Canobolas Rural Technology High School hospitality teacher Jennifer Shepherd

Caitlin said to prepare for the waitressing part her method was to “get on the floor and run with it.”

“Be clear and go with what you know,” said Caitlin.

Hospitality teacher Jennifer Shepherd said having worked with the group since mid last year, she’s watched their confidence grow both in the kitchen and when it comes to dealing with the eating public.

In the lead up to the Rotary dinner gig, the school team has had a chance to develop their skills by catering at a Meals on Wheels luncheon as well as the Zonta Antique, Jewelry and Vintage Fair.  

“They’ve developed really good team work, communication and problem-solving skills,” Mrs Shepherd said.

“They might whinge about it beforehand, but it’s always really positive, and they’re always happy to put their hand up to volunteer the next time.”

At the completion of their work preparing, cooking, serving and cleaning up after the meal, the Rotary members will provide the students with references to acknowledge their hard work.

Rotary’s Gary Bone said he hopes that for some of the students the letter will be a useful addition to their resumes and their foray into the working world.

After Monday night’s service, the focus for Caitlin will be to finish the year before deciding if life in a restaurant is for her.

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