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We are breathless after a super exciting week on campus. We have just experienced 4 nights of culinary and service magic courtesy of our 3rd year students.

Five months ago they embarked on their restaurant project. This project is a non-traditional academic experience relating to their practical work experience within the hospitality industry. By applying both culinary and theoretical skills learned in the first 2 years of their course they had to research, plan, and carry out an event that incorporated all aspects of food and beverage management operations.

The project also included a complete Mini Financial Business Plan, a Feasibility Study, a Marketing and Sales Strategy, Restaurant Menu and Wine List, all Standard Operating Procedures as well a floor plan and mood board design of their Restaurant concept. This gave them exposure to the planning and development of their dream restaurant from conception to the grand opening.

After submitting their written work the final exciting chapter was hosting their pop up restaurant event evening where they had to run a break-even event for paying guests and a panel of external examiners.

The competing teams were:

Vibe – a restaurant serving tasty, global street food
Eden – who brought the farm to fork concept to life
Twenty Two Tables – an upmarket Bistro
2 Jill’s and a Jack – who created a family style restaurant with European flavours

For each event the Pop Up Team was assisted by a group of peers who helped them prepare and plate the food and to serve the patrons.
The students had to create a 5 course food and wine pairing menu of their choice which would showcase their restaurant concept. Each team was also marked on their use of décor, their table settings and how they interacted with their guests from arrival to departure. The Maître D orchestrated front of house operations assisted by the Sommelier who controlled the beverage service and the Waiters while the Pop Up Head Chef was responsible for cooking and pushing out 150 plates of food.

The panel of Judges was anchored by star alumni and Executive Chef of Tokara Restaurant, Carolize Coetzee who attended all 4 nights. Other panel members included the Head Chef of Foliage Restaurant Michael Jonker, Kokkedoor Judge and the Culinary Director of La Motte Hetta van der Venter Terblanche, Garth Bedford Chef de Cuisine at Joostenberg, Michaela Donkersloot-Daniel the General Manager of Cascade Manor, award winning author and owner of the Real Meal Revolution Jonno Proudfoot and Andre Wainwright owner of Culinary Kraft suppliers of high end chefs knives and kitchen equipment in Durbanville.

The teams catered for special dietary requirements including vegetarian and lactose, as well as including gluten free options. The food included a China Town Platter paired with beer from Boston Breweries, Rib Eye and Ratatouille, Yellowtail and Orange Ceviche and Salted Chocolate and Caramel Tart with Banana Mousse & Double Espresso Ice Cream.

The winning team will be announced at the graduation ceremony on the 26 November 2019.

Rebecca Hurst
Managing Director, The Hurst Campus

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