Connecting Community and Food
Tasmania’s popular food scene is receiving a dash of vibrance and culture with the launch of MRC Tas Catering; a social enterprise project by Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) that provides practical kitchen skills and workplace experience to multicultural Tasmanian community members seeking work in the hospitality industry.
The project, which is funded by the Tasmanian government and operates in Hobart and surrounding suburbs, offers the Tasmanian community authentic and delicious food with recipes sourced from local migrant communities, featuring Tasmanian produce.
Catering is available for corporate meetings, canapé functions and various events, and the bespoke menus offer a variety of cuisines and seasonal produce.
MRC Tas Settlement and Community Services Manager Catherine Doran said MRC Tas Catering offers the Tasmanian community delicious and authentic cuisine whilst also providing migrants with pathways to employment via practical work experience and hands-on training,
“The training focuses on kitchen hygiene and cleanliness, kitchen orientation and basic knife skills. Participants are offered training in small groups, with wrap-around support, including workplace English and vocabulary support for clients with English as a second language, education about worksite procedures and WHS, feedback on their work performance, job references, and links to external work and training opportunities,” Ms Doran said.
“The employment program includes 1 x assessment, 1 x taster shift, 4 x formal work experience shifts and then an opportunity to volunteer or referral to external work experience and employment opportunities.”
Noor Hanna is the first participant to have completed 5 work experience sessions through the program and was recently employed by MRC Tas Catering for an external catering event that served 560 people. “It was a busy and nice day. I would like to find a job with food,” Ms Hanna said.
Ms Doran said the launch of MRC Tas Catering is the result of a successful pilot project, which tested the viability of a catering social enterprise in Hobart.
“In 2018 MRC Tas ran a series of cooking workshops with members of the Tasmanian migrant community to test and record their recipes. This resulted in a successful series of market stall pop-ups selling delicious authentic food and offering participants the opportunity to sell their food to the public. A showcase event was staged which saw the recipes translated into canapé style offerings with the intention of creating a catering social enterprise.” Ms Doran said.
Sample menus and contact details are available on the Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania website: www.mrctas.org.au/catering
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