BSSC’s EAL students got a taste of working in a café kitchen today, as they took part in the Café for a Day program.

An initiative of Bendigo Foodshare, the program connects young people with local chefs to learn all about the process of cooking and working in hospitality.

The group spent the day at Mitchell Street’s Hoo-gah, hosted by Gina Triolo, Head Chef and Owner of the busy café.

Gina guided our students through each step of the process of cooking the lunch item available for takeaway today: a delicious buddha bowl inspired dal lentil, served with rice and veggies.

Bridget and Eh Thout from Bendigo Foodshare sung the praises of Gina and her team for giving students the opportunity to experience the world of hospitality.

“We’re so lucky to have local business owners that give their time to young people,” says Bridget, Foodshare’s Community Engagement Manager. “The program gives young people hands-on working experience, but also so much more.”

“For some of these students, it’s the first time they’ve been in this kind of environment—as well as the café experience, it’s a great chance for them to practice their English skills.”

Eh Thout—Youth Project Officer at Foodshare—echoed Bridget’s sentiments.

“It’s a great experience for these students: working in a place such as this gets them out of their comfort zone.”

As for Hoo-gah’s owner, Gina, she is incredibly proud to be involved with Café for a Day.

“It’s very rewarding: working with these young people, who have such enthusiasm—they just want to learn!”

“We are trying to revive the hospitality industry through programs like this.”

A huge thank you to Bendigo Foodshare and Hoo-gah café for today’s learning experience.