On Friday 7 March, McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains hosted the first Hotel Management Institute (HMI) Challenge. Hospitality students from five schools came together to compete in three challenges over the day – a cook off, HMI presentation and a problem-solving activity based on a hotel management issue.

The event was hosted at McCarthy Catholic College to start the celebrations for Catholic Schools Week. Students from Caroline Chisholm College, Loyola Senior High School, Kingswood High School and Glenmore Park High School joined students in the commercial kitchen at McCarthy Catholic College to compete against each other for the first time.

Ralf Bruegger, General Manager of the Escarpment Group of hotels and acclaimed international chef judged the competition and after an intense day in the kitchen, the winners were:

Madison Pirrone and Sarah Simmons from Caroline Chisholm College won first place, receiving an iPad each. Ellen Storie-Gregory and Brooke Said from McCarthy Catholic College were awarded second place and $100 each. Petra Henry and Teagan Simpson from Glenmore Park High school won third place and $50 each.

Chief judge, Ralf Bruegger was very impressed with the skills and techniques on show.

‘The students put a huge effort into their food preparation, presentation and hotel management problem solving,’ he said. ‘This experience has been an insight into the demands and challenges of five star service in the industry.’

Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Penrith and Louise Markus MP, Member for Macquarie attended to see the students in action and congratulate the winners.

The event is the result of a partnership between McCarthy Catholic College and the Hotel Management Institute based at TAFE Western Sydney Institute.


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