Kanagaroo vol au vents, frittata with Warrigal Greens and wattleseed cheesecake isn’t what one might ordinarily find on a high tea menu – but this is no ordinary high tea.
Year 11 VCE VET Hospitality students prepare and serve regular fortnightly high teas in the College’s commercial training restaurant, The Terrace, which is open to the public. For the first time, they are hosting a special Indigenous high tea, a wonderful amalgamation of traditional high tea dishes and uniquely Australian ingredients.
“It’s a celebration of culture and knowledge whilst doing what the Melbourne food scene is known for: taking the best from every culture and serving it with respect,” says Janice Bate from MLC’s Home Economics faculty, and main instigator of the event.
Whilst learning about indigenous ingredients is part of the students’ curriculum, the high tea was initiated alongside Reconciliation Week. As a chef, Janice herself has had a long interest in indigenous ingredients and spent many years travelling with MLC students to the Ngukurr community in the Northern Territory.
“I have been very privileged to have been taught how to hunt, gather and cook in traditional ways, and enjoy sharing my knowledge and passion with other staff and students,” she explains. “This is a chance for the public to enjoy some familiar high tea favourites that have a flavour twist to them. In Australia, we grow so many fantastic native plants that haven’t yet become mainstream, so it’s a great opportunity to discover something new.”
Other ingredients being incorporated into the dishes include aniseed myrtle, Davidson plum, finger lime and bush tomato.
The Terrace Restaurant is MLC’s purpose-built, full-service commercial facility for VCE VET Hospitality students to hone their skills both front of house and back of house under full supervision, whilst diners can enjoy on-trend, industry-standard dishes and beverages. As students graduate from the program with an industry Certificate in Food and Beverage or Commercial Cookery, it is a great opportunity to support aspiring culinary students whilst enjoying a restaurant-standard meal at an affordable price. The high teas are perfectly timed to have a bite before the school pick up!
Bookings are essential: http://www.trybooking.com/ODDZ