Young cooks facing a catering marathon

16:00, Jan 17 2014
Lee Richardson
CULINARY BAPTISM: Southland Boys' High School pupil Lee Richardson brushes up on his culinary skills ahead of the Top Deck Travel reunion, at which a group of Boys' High pupils are catering.

Three promising cooks will face a weekend-long baptism by fire at Borland Lodge this month.

Southland Boys' High School culinary pupils Nick Kergozou, Ethan Wilks and Lee Richardson will test their mettle catering for almost 100 people at a Top Deck Travel reunion next weekend.

Top Deck is a tour operator offering tour packages for 18 to 39-year-olds.

While many of their classmates enjoy the last of the school holidays, the year 13 pupils will wake early to serve guests breakfast and prepare lunch, before heading back to the kitchen to cook dinner.

Catering teacher Scott Richardson, who will be working with the boys, said the students would undertake both cooking and serving roles during the weekend.

The experience, which included preparing a bierfest-themed dinner, would be quite full on, he said. "It will be a real baptism by fire."


Although the opportunity meant sacrificing some of their holidays, the work experience would help the students adjust to life after school, he said.

"They often have part time, after-school jobs but to actually do a 40-hour week or an eight-hour shift, day in, day out, it's a bit daunting for them.

"This is another way of showing them what this career is like."

As well as building on culinary skills learnt in class, the work would help the boys earn credits towards their NCEA level three qualification, Mr Richardson said.

Mr Richardson's son, Lee, said while he expected the weekend to be a bit of work, Borland Lodge was a nice place to do it.

Top Deck Travel crew members will gather from across Australasia to attend the annual reunion, this year being held at Borland Lodge between January 24 and 27.

It will be the first reunion held in the South Island since 2001, when crew members met in Hanmer Springs.

The Southland Times