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2TM Regional News

Youth Council cooks up the idea for new cafe

A new social enterprise cafe is set to open once a month at the Tamworth Regional Youth Centre as part of a new initiative cooked up by the Tamworth Youth Council.

Joseph Clarke, a Year 12 student at Farrer Agricultural High School, is a member of the Youth Council and said it was a collaborative idea from everyone.

"We planned to open a cafe here so we could learn some new skills and contribute to the community," said Joseph, "Giving back to the community is one of our main goals and that's what we're trying to do with this project."

Joesph said this project has been something to look forward to in what he described as a bit of a crazy year.

"It's a nice break to move away from the pressures of the HSC and do something recreational like this, learn some skills and do something we enjoy."

Well-known chef and television presenter Paul West joined members of the Youth Council on Tuesday 22nd of September to pass on some of his skills and knowledge in a cooking workshop.

The workshops lead by Mr West are the first steps towards getting the community cafe open by the end of October, with further accredited training coming later in the month.

Mr West said there are several key skills he would like to teach during the afternoon workshop.

"The key skills I'd like to teach them is the really fundamental operations of a kitchen," Mr West said, "Because cooking for a large group of people is certainly very different to cooking for your family or cooking for yourself."

"Give them basic knife skills and give them a framework to create recipes with, not necessarily a whole suite of specific recipes."

Mr West said the focus of the workshop would be to give the students a set of 'loose and ready' guidelines that they can use to create nutrient-dense food for the people that will be served at the cafe.

Joseph Clarke said he hasn't done much cooking before but is excited to give it a try.

"It's going to be pretty new for me," Joesph said, " But I'm excited because I'll be able to learn some new skills that I can use later in life and for employment."

Mr West reiterated that the skills you learn working in a kitchen are the skills you can use every day.

"Being skilled up in hospitality opens a lot of doors," Mr West said, "When you are a good practitioner in hospitality you can work pretty much anywhere on earth, so it's a great job for young folk to be able to travel and earn at the same time."

Members of the Youth Council are the first to receive the hospitality training, yet Veronica Filby, Coordinator of Volunteers said they hope to eventually open the training opportunity up to all young people who attend The Youthie Program.

"The project aims to help young people build confidence, skills and get involved in the community," Ms Filby said.

All funds collected from the cafe will go towards supporting future youth council initiatives.

Image - Tamworth Regional Youth Council members Joseph Clarke and Matilda Lewis with chef Paul West


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