Our Post:

The hospitality industry offers many fast-paced and exciting work opportunities for eager, young jobseekers to experience.

For a taste of work-life in the hospitality industry, trainers at Afford’s SLES (School Leaver Employment Support) Mt Druitt and Penrith sites set trainees an Aussie Cook-Off Challenge to test their workplace knowledge and skills.

The day began with the all-important reveal of the workplace scenario. Trainees were excited when they discovered that their SLES site would transform into a classic Australian pub!

Now with the workplace confirmed, they had the challenge of preparing a traditional chicken schnitzel with potato wedges, also known as an old pub favourite, the ‘Schnitty’.

All the ingredients were ready for them, and they had a recipe card to follow. In addition, trainees had five categories to consider which cover hospitality expectations. These categories include food handling hygiene, cooking station cleanliness, kitchen safety, food presentation, and of course, taste!

Their SLES trainer, Tayla, talked through each of the category guidelines to ensure that everyone understood what was involved in meeting the industry standards for hospitality.

Then it was time to cook! Ervin’s chopping style proved efficient and measured. Jenna’s breadcrumbing technique was masterful. Jordan and Issy were neck and neck when peeling their potatoes and Angus took to the tongs on the frypan with ease.

For each step, trainees watched a demonstration and then prepared their ingredients. From the herb-crusted wedges to the ‘flour, egg, breadcrumb’ chicken preparation, trainees channelled patience and perseverance to achieve the desired result. They prepared side salads and submitted one ‘presentation dish’ for judging.

In true MasterChef style, judges dissected and scrutinised dishes against the standards outlined for the hospitality industry.

Team ‘My-Michael-Michael’ won the challenge, scoring an impressive 10 out of 10 for all five categories.

Trainees followed through in their responsibility, working together to wash and clean up. The best part of the day was enjoying the result of their hard work and eating a delicious schnitty pub lunch with, of course, Aussie tablecloths and flags.

Afford’s SLES trainers use innovative and fun techniques to teach trainees about work-life in a variety of industries. Trainees are engaged and develop their skills and knowledge in a supportive environment.

Find out more about Afford’s SLES program and how you can explore your work interests.