The heat was on for cross-sector regional WorldSkills hospitality competitors at Marist College Kogarah.
The eight Year 11 students (three from Sydney Catholic schools and five from public high schools in the region) were given four hours to prepare and plate four serves of a three-course meal on October 29.
This was double the volume they were asked to prepare in their first round of the competition in August, won by Casimir Catholic College Marrickville’s Kassandra Vincent, Waverley College’s Luis Tanner, and De La Salle Catholic Senior College Cronulla student Sarah Simpson.
On the menu this time were an entrée of bruschetta, main of chicken breast with seasonal vegetables and honey mustard sauce, and chocolate brownies with chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream for dessert.
The regional heats are part of the WorldSkills Australia program, which aims to celebrate excellence in trade skills and inspire young people to consider a skill-based career. The Marist-hosted event was judged by Paul Smith from Kingsgrove High School and Michelle Chidzey from De La Salle Cronulla.
The Catholic education Office’s eastern region Leader of Learning – Vocational Education, Carol Amorim, said Mr Smith had been impressed by how well organised the event was and by the calibre of students competing. Students were given their menu two weeks in advance and an orientation in the kitchen before they began to cook.
“The students have been well supported by their hospitality teachers, they’ve had practice at school and have been encouraged to practice at home,” Mrs Amorim said.
“The menu was different to the first competition. They were still cooking chicken, and still had to use a variety of methods of cookery, but they had to put a greater volume out in the same amount of time, so their work flow and organisational skills were really important. “
Mrs Amorim said one student needed first aid after she cut her finger deeply, and others needed to start parts of their meals again after making a mistake with the recipe.
“There was a bit more pressure, but the students coped with it really well,” she said.
“Both judges thought that the students were really calm, and all the kids were in an environment they were unfamiliar with. The hospitality staff at Marist College Kogarah were phenomenal and made sure the event ran like clockwork.”
The winners of the WorldSkills cross-sector regional hospitality challenge were:
1st – Lucy Reilly-Zattin, Moorefields Girls High School
2nd – Sarah Simpson, De La Salle Catholic Senior College Cronulla
3rd – Lily Pegus, Sylvania High School
James saws through competition
De La Salle Catholic Senior College Cronulla Year 11 construction student James Kiss was also successful at WorldSkills regional level. he placed second in a carpentry challenge held at LaSalle Catholic College’s St Yon Trade Training Centre.
James built a sawhorse using complex carpentry joints to receive a silver medal. Like other WorldSkills competitors he is just nine months into his chosen Vocational Education and Training (VET) program. Judges were impressed by James’ three-dimensional thinking.
There were 31 regional WorldSkills competitions held across Australia, for VET students at school and TAFE.