Issue 10 - 7 November 2011 enews home

Flame thrill dinner service at Desert Lantern

By Patrick Nelson

CDU Director Remotelink Paul Fitzsimons and Centre Leader Kate Young (wearing academic caps) congratulate staff and students at the Tennant Creek presentation

Certificate III students dress up for Halloween at the Desert Lantern. From left: Celeste, Ali, Michelle, Shash and Anchisa

Fine diners at the Desert Lantern training restaurant at Charles Darwin University's Alice Springs campus got more than they bargained for when they turned up for a Gueridon Service recently.

With Halloween imminent, the 15 Certificate III Hospitality students and their lecturers entered into the spirit of the occasion by dressing up in ghostly makeup, scary hair and a touch of the vampire.

The atmosphere was enhanced with the occasional burst of flame as students worked tableside to put the finishing touches to some dishes.

VET lecturers Nick de Silva and Franco Muré discussed with the students "thematic ideas" that would demonstrate how they could deliver a little extra to their 90 guests.

"We decided to dress up a bit, scare a few people and have a few laughs at the same time.

"It went down a treat with our diners whose feedback forms were glowing with praise for the service and for the experience."

Mr de Silva said "gueridon service" is when food is presented, cooked, or finished in a trolley in front of the guest.

It's a way of giving the guest some personal attention but equally it is an opportunity for the students to demonstrate their professionalism, confidence and handiwork in the heat of the moment."

Mr de Silva said the students, who came from the three senior schools in Alice Springs, "handled the pressure and performed with aplomb".

"Through theory and practice over the past year they have developed some very good skills and a sound knowledge base that will serve them well in the workforce.

"They did equally well at a busy á la carte luncheon on Melbourne Cup Day and we have a buffet service booked for next week."

Mr de Silva said CDU was looking forward to continuing to offer a variety of certificate qualifications in hospitality next year, including Certificates II-IV in Hospitality.