TASMANIA’S popular food scene is receiving a dash of vibrancy and culture with the launch of MRC Tas Catering.
MRC Tas Catering is 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.
It offers the Tasmanian community authentic and delicious food with recipes sourced from local migrant communities, featuring Tasmanian produce.
MRC Tas settlement and community services manager Catherine Doran said MRC Tas Catering offered the Tasmanian community delicious and authentic cuisine.
She said it provided 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,” she said.
“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.
“The employment program includes one assessment, one taster shift, four formal work experience shifts and then an opportunity to volunteer or a referral to external work experience and employment opportunities.”
Noor Hanna is the first participant to have completed five 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,” Ms Hanna said.
“I would like to find a job with food.”
Ms Doran said the launch of MRC Tas Catering was 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,” she said.
“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.”
Catering is available for corporate meetings, canapé functions and various events, and the bespoke menus offer a variety of cuisines and seasonal produce.
For more information, visit www.mrctas.org.au/catering.
Caption: Program participant Noor Hanna, left, and MRC Tas food manager Megan Quill.