Students' offerings find favour

21:50, May 29 2014
cassidy veldkamp, jordan stewart
GET COOKING: Marlborough Community College cookery student Cassidy Veldkamp, left, and barista student Jordan Stewart prepare for their Corner Cafe open day.

Marlborough Community College students are serving up satisfaction at a cafe on the school's Scott St campus in Blenheim.

Cookery and barista students from the college open Corner Cafe to the public once a week, inviting businesspeople and others they know to book a table. They aim to showcase their skills and to get experience preparing meals for people in a restaurant setting.

Cookery tutor Lucy Smith said 15 people had booked in for the first open day three weeks ago, 24 had come to the second one last week, and 30 were expected yesterday.

"They smashed it ... I think they should be really proud of themselves because they are just going from strength to strength and each time has gone without a hitch and people just keep coming back," she said.

Each restaurant day also counted as an "observation" and the students, aged 16 to 18, could tick off another task required to pass their 44-week course.

"A lady wants [the students] to do a function for 80 people for her," Smith said.


Student Cassidy Veldkamp enjoyed the challenge of preparing food for people in a restaurant environment.

"It's good to have good feedback from them, and it's just fun."

Veldkamp hoped to use her National Certificate in Cookery, and the NCEA level 1 and 2 qualifications she was gaining through the course, as a starting point before having her own food truck. The barista students earned a national certificate in hospitality, as well as NCEA 1 and 2 qualifications via their course.

Smith said the cookery course involved a lot of theory work, but students often spent about three days a week in the kitchen doing practical observations.

There was a small fee for the lunch to cover costs, but they hoped to keep the price below $10.

To receive the menu each week, contact Matt Allcutt on

The Marlborough Express