Hero photograph
Year 11 students
Photo by Heather Brown

Foods Department

Heather Brown —

The Foods Department is enjoying another busy year full of exciting new initiatives and many experiences outside of the classroom.

Year 12 Hospitality students enjoyed a field trip to the Otago Polytechnic Hospitality Department on the 24th March. They toured the facilities, including viewing ex-students at work in Cookery, Food and Beverage classes and inspected the Student Market Day – an occasion where Cookery students develop and sell products to the public. Students were treated to pizzas cooked to order and professionally made hot chocolates and coffees.

Year 11 students gained a lot from viewing the knife skills of Tony Heptinstall (Head of Hospitality at the Polytechnic) when he visited their class on 23rd of March – caring for knives and demonstration of chef’s knife cuts.

This year senior students are fortunate to have the opportunity to cater for Logan Park Board of Trustees' meetings. Students will research, prepare and serve finger-food style platters for this group and will gain valuable experience in catering.

Year 13 students trialed fruit pastes made from quinces, and have made “Remembrance Biscuits” (containing poppy seeds and dried rosemary) to serve with the paste, and made Anzac biscuits as an acknowledgement of Anzac Day. Year 13 also will be back this year selling a further range of innovative sandwiches in the school canteen and developing and trialing products to sell at the Student Market.

Year 9 students have completed an Introduction to Food Science unit and are presently engaged in the planning for their “Invite a Friend” to a healthy barbecue meal to be held early Term 2 at lunchtime.

Year 10 students are just completing their “Gingerbread Whares” – a technically difficult project that highlights Aotearoa and the students’ own personalities. They have previously completed a Food Safety and Study Skills unit. Coming up for Year 10 is the Otago Farmers’ Market stall. This is the third year that Year 10 students have featured at the Market – last year we sold out!

Year 11 have begun work on their “Invite a Friend to a Fingerfood lunch”. They have worked steadily through units on Careers in Hospitality, Knife Care and a comprehensive unit on Meat (cuts and cooking methods).

The Foods Department is developing a programme around entering competitions and senior students will also have the opportunity to enter the Vegetarian Challenge and the inter-school Salon Culinaire competitions.

Term Two also included a group of very able Year 12 students entering the CREST Challenge, run by the Royal Society, for the first time. This Challenge runs at Bronze (Year 11), Silver (Year 12) and Gold (Year 13) levels. These four students worked on producing an innovative food product in association with a senior food technologist from the Food Science Department at the University of Otago. The Foods Department has plans to extend this very worthwhile extension activity to Year 11 next year, for interested students.

Later on in the year, senior students planned for, cater and served at the “Class Act” function at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Students gained valuable experience last year and excellent feedback after catering for 180 invited guests and students.