Friday, 05 November 2010
ECU’s Faculty of Business and Law, in conjunction with local businessman and owner of The Royal Shalimar Indian Restaurant, Mr Kiran Kosagi, officially launched the six-week cooking program entitled the ECU Community Kitchen, on Thursday, 4 November, which aims to engage troubled youths through the art of cooking.
The program, which was trialled last year, was an initiative of Mr Kosagi, who wanted to develop a program that would engage local teenagers who lack a sense of direction after his own shop was vandalised.
Through the sponsorship of the Faculty of Business and Law, the initiative has developed into a six-week cooking program that provides four individuals with the chance to experience commercial cooking in a real life restaurant kitchen.
Individuals who complete the six-week program are placed in a great position to get a job within the hospitality industry or pursue further education through a TAFE course or apprenticeship, with all units completed receiving recognition of prior learning.
Mr Kosagi believes the program is a fantastic way for local businesses to make a difference within the community.
“Local businesses are constantly complaining about security in the area, so I decided to see if I could help make a difference by giving youths something to work towards.”
“Through the support of ECU and other local organisations, this idea has developed into a wonderful program that gives troubled youths a head start, boots their self esteem and provides a launching pad to start their cooking career,” said Mr Kosagi.
2009 program participant Mr Michael Ridger says the program helped him discover a passion for food.
“I am now studying a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and Hospitality Management at TAFE and hope to get an apprenticeship with a local restaurant where I can further develop my cooking skills. I really enjoyed the program and it provided me with a great learning experience.”
The program will finish with a celebration dinner, where participants will cook for family and friends and showcase the skills learned during their time in the kitchen.
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