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Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Gives Students a Winning Edge

Over eighty William Angliss Institute students and staff provided hospitality, events and cookery support at the World's Longest Lunch and World's Longest Brunch, kicking off the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) for 2024.

Curated by renowned Melbourne chef Andrew McConnell, the three-course meal showcased his culinary mastery, elevating venues like Gimlet and Cumulus to iconic status in the Australian dining scene.

As 1,600 food enthusiasts settled into their seats for the World's Longest Lunch, a remarkable 4,800 plates were served at the record 600-metre table, set in the scenic backdrop of Kings Domain in true al fresco style. Our students supported the event's official catering partner Peter Rowland, and event specialists En Pointe, to present McConnell's lavish feast.

Angliss Certificate III Hospitality student Laura White expressed her delight in working alongside McConnell's and Rowland's teams to oversee the event's service. "I love the fact that my course gives me so much industry experience, including the experience of working at a large-scale event like the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. It was a wonderful opportunity and a great day to celebrate Australia's diverse culture and delicious food."

For Laura, the experience taught her how to be even more patient and keep calm under high pressure situations.

"I will take these learning experiences on board and implement them into my training. This should help me when I move on to study the Certificate III in Patisserie, which will further support my dream of working for a prestigious restaurant in Paris one day.

"For anyone thinking about studying at TAFE, I would say that it's a really good way to learn more about what you're passionate about," explained Laura.

The William Angliss Institute's long-standing relationship with MFWF provides students with hands-on experience, complementing their on-campus training and preparing them for the demands of the industry.

Hospitality Teacher David Kerr noted the students' enthusiasm for the challenge. "It is a great opportunity for students to experience such a large-scale event and deliver meal and drinks service for so many guests. It's a rare opportunity to see how an event such as this runs," David explained.

A Feast of Experience and Inspiration

Diploma of Events Management students Isabella Barbuto and Emily Jones expressed their excitement at the chance to work at MFWF.
Currently working as a Wedding Coordinator, Isabella said that she felt lucky to gain industry connections. "I was a great way to gain insight into the industry and to see where the event styling path could take me. I was most excited to see how such a large event is organised and ready in such a short time frame, and to see the end-product," Isabella said.

Emily reflected on the experience saying, "Taking every opportunity offered while studying pays off in terms of the experience I gained in assisting to organise such an event. I enjoyed being able to do styling based on two different designs that were very different in colour and table setting. One was quite neutral for the World's Longest Lunch, whereas the World's Longest Brunch was more vibrant which also looked amazing."

Back-of-house students from Angliss were tasked with preparation and plating, drawing on their on-campus training to meet the demands of the occasion.

Being part of such a prestigious event and assisting McConnell's team was a great honour for Certificate III in Commercial Cookery student Andre Sumampouw. "The opportunity to work with skilled chefs and observe how they do an amazing job was so inspirational. Plating dishes for 1,600 people was an unforgettable and invaluable moment for me."

"Although there was pressure and some stress in having to adapt to a new kitchen, I overcame these challenges by staying calm and focused, learning and listening to the head chef," Andre said.

William Angliss Institute is committed to providing students with real-world exposure and professional development.

Learn more about unique work experience opportunities coordinated by the Angliss Careers and Employment team, plus services provided by the Skills and Jobs Centre.

Published 25 March