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Auckland Year 13s cook up a storm for children with cancer

A group of Auckland high schools have teamed up with a top cookery school to raise money for Kiwi kids with cancer.

The unique initiative will see Year 13 students from MAGS, Papakura High School, Lynfield College, Aorere College, Tangaroa College and De La Salle High School join forces to create a culinary feast for 100 guests today, October 9.

The charity dinner is being hosted by Manukau-based private training provider Ignite Colleges, with five-star service provided by Ignite’s hospitality and cookery students. Event organisers are hoping to raise $8000-$10,000 from ticket sales, with all proceeds going to the Child Cancer Foundation.

Anna Irvine, Child Cancer Foundation’s Business Development Manager Northern Region says the foundation is thrilled to be the recipient charity for the inaugural High School Hospitality Dinner.

“It is incredibly special to have students preparing this dinner to raise funds for children affected by cancer. This event is unique and a wonderful opportunity to showcase students’ skills alongside showing their willingness to help others.”

Four budding chefs from each high school have been selected. All share a passion for cookery and hospitality, and a strong desire to contribute in meaningful ways to their communities.

Says former chef and De La Salle High School teacher Aaron Dsouza, “I use hospitality as a vehicle not only to train students to prepare them for the industry, but also to build and develop their leadership potential. These students have come to learn the true meaning of hospitality, and the scope and impact it has on others – not only from a service aspect but also a charitable perspective.”

Through the initiative, Dsouza hopes to bring together Auckland’s high school hospitality departments with industry to support those facing childhood cancer.

When Ignite Colleges General Manager Jasbir Kaur was approached to join the initiative she didn’t hesitate to accept.

Says Kaur: “We have state-of-the-art kitchens and event facilities as well as skilled hospitality and cookery students who are keen to give back to the community. We are delighted to be able to host and participate in an event that supports such a worthy cause”.

Guests will be treated to a three-course dinner including mouthwatering dishes such as five spice roast duck and vegetable rice paper wraps, and slow roasted horopito chicken breast stuffed with pancetta and buffalo mozzarella. The dishes are technical and will give students the opportunity to demonstrate their culinary prowess.

In addition to providing table service and assistance with the cooking, Ignite students have brewed their own beer, which will be served on the night.

“As well as raising money for children with cancer and their families, this event provides a fantastic platform for budding young chefs to get a taste of life in the hospitality industry,” says Kaur.

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