Southern Institute of Technology Cookery students had the opportunity to expand their culinary repertoire recently when they hosted the Rotary Club of Invercargill at the
Bungalow Restaurant; guests were treated to a Sri Lankan menu with a generous side dish of fun at their fundraiser evening.
Held on October 28th, SIT cookery students adapted, prepared and executed a threecourse Sri Lankan meal for the event, under the tutelage of Glenn Stridiron, Programme Manager for SIT’s School of Hospitality and Cookery. He said the evening provided a fresh occasion for the students to extend themselves with some new food concepts. Whilst there were international students in the class who had grown up with the style of food and could offer advice in the planning and preparation of the meal, for a number of them, certain
components of the buffet-style dinner were new. “They weren’t familiar with dhal (red split lentils) and there were spice blends they hadn’t heard of before,” he said.
Mr Stridiron said it gave students the opportunity to do something different and put their own twist on things. “They were able to test their skills on new, unfamiliar dishes and they also enjoyed they were participating in a fundraiser for a children’s charity,” he said.
As well as their usual tasks in the kitchen for the evening, the Cookery students also provided the front of house service. SIT School of Hospitality and Cookery generously donated the cost of the food, further supporting the club’s fundraising initiative.
The menu was created by Chami Abeysinghe, Rotary Club of Invercargill’s International Director and President-Elect for 2022/23. Chami hails from Sri Lanka and said she designed the menu based on speciality dishes from her childhood. “All of these dishes have been big hits with my kiwi friends. Of course, I also selected dishes that were not too spicy and would balance the flavours for the guests!” she added.
The dinner was held to support the club’s fundraising efforts for “Give Every Child A Future (GECAF)”, with the aim of raising sufficient funds to donate 100 vaccines towards this cause - a goal they’ve set for celebrating the club’s centenary in 2024.
Rotary Invercargill Club President Lisa-Maree Fleck said she was thrilled with the outcome of the fundraiser. “It was a wonderful opportunity to do something new and totally different to raise funds with an added benefit of forming a new community connection with SIT School of Hospitality and Cookery.”
Ms Fleck went on to add, “the fundraiser was well supported by both Rotarians and members of the wider community as well. The consensus on the night was to make this an annual event, which we hope to do.”
“We have raised close to half of what we need to donate 100 vaccines for the GECAF project. We are excited about launching the next layer to this project, Sri Lankan-themed
takeout food boxes to raise more towards this cause,” Ms Fleck said.
If you’d like to find out more about the Rotary Club of Invercargill, Give Every Child A Future project, or any other community or fundraising events we support, please contact
Lisa-Maree Fleck on 027 2304 611 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org