Offer of hotel kitchen enables students to complete studies

Offer of hotel kitchen enables students to complete studies

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Two guests, three courses and a menu using ‘local hero’ ingredients made up the finale to a challenging year for the NMIT culinary arts students.
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Rutherford Hotel General Manager, Alexander Siebentritt with culinary arts students in the Oceano restaurant.

The end of year capstone project is the graduating students’ opportunity to design a menu for invited guests featuring products they have used throughout the year, including Regal Salmon, Canter Valley duck and Pics Peanut butter.

Each team were responsible for all the ordering, food safety, workplans and serving their own guests at the table—even washing their plates at the end of the meal.

This year the students also had to cope with a change of venues due to the sudden closure of their usual building. Rutherford Hotel General Manager, Alexander Siebentritt stepped in and offered the hotel’s Oceano restaurant and kitchen to the students.

Cookery tutor Chris Fortune says this allowed them to finish the year without too much disruption.
“Without the use of Rutherford Hotel’s facilities, and support from their hospitality team, it would have been much more difficult for our students to graduate,” he says. “We are very grateful for the manaakitanga that they have shown us at all stages of our students’ learning.”

Alexander Siebentritt said his staff welcomed the team and were excited to have the young talent on site.
“We were just happy to help. It was great to see our equipment used, and nice to have a bit of a buzz around with some activity during a rather quiet time at the hotel.”

“It also didn’t impact on us and we were simply happy to help. More exposure to different kitchen environments can only be a benefit for the students,” says Alex.

In lieu of a payment to the Rutherford Hotel for using the facilities, NMIT has donated $1000 to the Cancer Society, a charity Alex says Rutherford Hotel is more than happy to support.

Chris Fortune says the guests’ comments after the lunch included: Honestly...perfection in presentation, freshness and flavour shined through. Very happy, everything was fabulous and the dessert was a big hit.

All the students have graduated and are now ready for full time work in the industry.

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