Fundraising dinner at Islay High School
On the evening of Saturday 22 April Islay High School, in conjunction with Argyll College, hosted a fundraising dinner in aid of their next expedition, this time to Zambia and Botswana.
The catering was managed by the Argyll College tutors, Chris Wolfe and Sarah Richardson together with HNC Hospitality Student, Laura Meek and SVQ Professional Cookery students (and former Islay High School pupils), Melissa Douglas, Jason Holyoake and Johnathan McNichol.
The three course meal was absolutely tremendous with such delights as langoustines in a filo pastry basket as a starter and roast saddle of venison with a Botanist Gin and Rowen sauce as one of the mains.
The team cooked for almost 100 guests and laid on a perfect showcase of local produce.
The High School students on the expedition prepared and set all the tables during the day and then waited on the tables in the evening with some also helping in the kitchen. They were supervised by Glen Roberts, formerly of Port Charlotte Hotel and Darlene Russell, Curriculum Manager for Argyll College UHI.
Gary I Campbell , Key Account Director, was visiting Islay for the first time to see this partnership event between Argyll College UHI and Islay High School. When he found out there was an auction he happily volunteered to run it and he was superb - one of the highlights of the night. His patter was brilliant, entertaining everyone and raising a great deal of money. What a great night! The whole event raised over £5500 for the High School expedition.
Students View of the Event:
This was the first ever time I have prepped for so many people that quick, it was hard work and a lot of concentration and a lot of communication was needed for us the group that provided the hospitality for this catering event to get along and get the jobs done and everything ready and prepped, I'm glad to say it turned out AWESOME!! I wasn't there for the ending, but from what I heard there were just compliments. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to prep my own version of these dishes and dish them out to the island and its lovely locals. It made me smile see everyone happy and smiling, it was well worth it.
I had the pleasure of being involved in a charity dinner event for Islay High Schools' Zambia expedition where myself and three other Argyll College students had the opportunity to cater for the ladies and gentlemen invited. It was our first time catering for such an amount and i was personally surprised at how easily planned and executed such an event can be with a well coordinated and extremely helpful team. The prep seemed to pass in a flash as we were preparing anything from languostines, venison, salmon or vegetables and was completed in plenty of time for the event to start, giving us valuable insight into what is involved in such events and what we should be focusing on improving and educating ourselves on for the future. The most surprising piece of information i have taken from this event is how fun you can make these events despite the number of jobs on hand and at no point did I feel pressured or overworked with the wonderful help from the rest of the team and tutor!
I enjoyed the event very much and i was privileged to be a part of it, it has giving me confidence to pursue this as a career choice for the future. In high school I did NC Hospitality and took part in an event like this before but it was a bit different to this time, as this event had more technical aspects to producing the food and was more professional by way of presentation.