Hospitality Hot Seat in Carnarvon

During early August, six young Carnarvon Academy men got a taste of working in food service at the annual Gascoyne Food Festival Sunset BBQ.

Working alongside Carnarvon born and bred chef Stu Laws and Masterchef 2019 contestant Kyle Lyons, the boys were thrown into the hospitality hot seat, serving hordes of hungry food enthusiasts.

Carnarvon Academy Director gave a blow by blow account of the day which can be read below!

Ready to serve: Six Carnarvon Academy boys put their hospitality skills to the test during the Gascoyne Food Festival Sunset BBQ in August.

On arrival at the Carnarvon Civic Centre, the boys were briefed by Stu on their roles for the night: Front of line service, taking orders, keeping stock levels topped up and plating up salads with the stars of the show – seafood and asado (South American style cooked meat).

Clontarf boys Sam Dickerson and Kayde Mitchell featured in the preparation as part of their Tafe learning for that day. When the succulent meat was done it was carved and put aside, ready for prompt service.

The smell of fresh local tiger prawns and Spanish mackerel wafted through the Civic Centre, attracting a large crowd eager to feast.

Come and get it! The line was already 100 deep on both the seafood and asado sides before the call to action was made. Ryan Merritt, Lochlan McHugh, and Brad Harken manned the meat. Jeremy Ryan, Stanley Ryder and Thomas Dann slaved over the seafood, assisted by Clontarf staff and local legend Bourke ‘Boomer’ Maslen.

The boys were momentarily overwhelmed by the initial rush of orders. However, only a few minutes in – and a few curveball orders sorted out with the chefs – the fellas composed themselves quickly and hit an efficient rhythm, turning out plate after plate.

All up 290 people were served in the space of two hours. The boys experienced what a genuinely busy evening in hospitality is like. They handled it well and even had energy left in the tank afterwards, showing they could pace themselves like the slow burn of the asado.

Through their experiential learning, the fellas developed themselves in numerous areas including customer service, communication, cooperative teamwork, decision making, hygienic food practices, working under stress, discipline, sacrifice of personal time and appropriate social behaviour – all of which map nicely onto the Clontarf pillars of Employment, Leadership, Education and Well-being.

There were plenty of encouraging words received from the event organisers, customers and community during and after the night for their efforts volunteering. Well done young men!