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Hospitality students experience French flavour


December 2008

Hospitality students experience the flavour of France

Two WelTec hospitality students experienced the trip of a lifetime in their first year of study when they were selected to go to France as part of an exchange with French school, Les Sorbet. Earlier this year, Food and Beverage student, Alex McLennaghan and Cookery student Belinda Beckett headed to La Roche Sur Yon for four weeks of French culture, food and site-seeing.

Alex, who had never left New Zealand before, loved the experience. “It was awesome. The language barrier wasn’t too difficult – everyone spoke with their hands so it made it a lot easier. I knew a little French – enough to say hello, what’s your name, that sort of thing and I found the people to be really friendly.”

It was also the first trip abroad for Belinda. “It was fantastic. We had two weeks at Les Sorbet and two weeks work experience in industry. It was amazing, the kitchens were huge and up-to-date with all the gadgets.”

While in France, the two soaked up the culinary experience. “We went to Le Signale restaurant which is over 100 years old, it had this incredible Mediterranean feel and was really extravagant. I dragged Alex to all the local patisseries. About a quarter of all the photos I took seemed to be of chocolate stores. It was incredible, they were everywhere”. Belinda, who has now completed the Certificate in Culinary Arts is planning on returning to WelTec to study Patisserie in 2009.

Alex is also returning to study the Diploma in Hospitality Operations Supervision. “I want to get into management and I’ve found this course to be fantastic, I really don’t want to leave at the end of the year”. Belinda agrees, “It’s been a great year, I’ve really enjoyed my programme and the tutors are great, we’ve had such great experiences with competitions like the Food Show and this student exhange, I’m looking forward to coming back next year.”

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