TAFE training restaurant offers up three courses for $35

READY TO SERVE: TAFE hospitality student Meg Rands. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
READY TO SERVE: TAFE hospitality student Meg Rands. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

A THREE-COURSE meal made from locally-sourced produce and prepared by tomorrow’s stars of the kitchen sounds great to many.

When the cost is just $35 a head, it suddenly sounds too good to be true.

But TAFE NSW Orange is serving up just that courtesy of their Dharra Ngurang training restaurant, which offers customers “culinary creations and exceptional service” as a means of providing its students with something approaching real-life experience in the service industry.

The ever-changing menu will be offered up on Monday and Tuesday nights, when most of the city’s restaurants’ doors are closed, and will be prepared and served by the educational institution’s Certificate III Commercial Cookery and Certificate II and III Hospitality students.

Many regular diners comment on the professionalism of the wait staff and calibre of the meals.

TAFE NSW tourism and hospitality teacher Amanda Glassop

Currently in the thick of her hospitality studies, Meg Rands said the fully-licensed restaurant provided the opportunity to learn and put into practice important skills that will help her forge a successful career in the service industry.

“The kitchen and simulated restaurant is the perfect learning environment and has given me an insight into what it is like to work in a restaurant,” she said.

“You can try a bit of everything, from learning how to make coffee and responsibly serving alcohol to perfecting customer service and wine pairing.”

MAP: Where the restaurant is located …

Dharra Ngurang – which translated from Wiradjuri language means ‘eating out’ – is an invaluable facility in preparing students for the fast-paced hospitality industry, according to TAFE NSW tourism and hospitality teacher Amanda Glassop.

“You notice the increase in skill, confidence and ability while the restaurant is open,” she said.

“The restaurant is an essential component of ensuring our cookery and hospitality graduates are job-ready. There is no experience substitute for a full-service dining room with paying customers and real-time demands to prepare students.

“Many regular diners comment on the professionalism of the wait staff and calibre of the meals.”

According to Ms Glassop, the creation of each week’s menu “is taken very seriously”, with one student each week choosing the menu and acting as head chef in control of the kitchen and his or her fellow apprentices.

“The apprentices are encouraged to create menus using our environmentally-sustainable food philosophy, using seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients,” she said.

Dharra Ngurang will be open to the public on Monday and Tuesday evenings until December 4. To book a table call Claire Tuck on 6391 5841.

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