Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Adventures in the NW of the state....

OMG – where to start?

Rita has returned to the big smoke (Hobart) from Devonport tonight, exhausted but full of facts, and enthusiasm for young people in hospitality.

The trip up to Devonport with the 16 students, and their 4 accompanying teachers, went extremely well. Ut Si’s Café was hectic (which I was so pleased to see) and the meals Colette was churning out (one of them, above) looked stunning, and, according to her customers (below) there, tasted equally as stunningly! The students went into her kitchen and listened to Colette speaking about the reasons why she opened the café; how, where and why she uses the products she does, and the positives and negatives of café life.

Ros (below) at Ashgrove gave us her factual but humorous explanation of cheesemaking, then took us through a comprehensive tasting of variously aged cheeses, as well as Ashgrove’s latest product - a pork salami with smoked cheese, and a Nichols chicken sausage variety as well – both beautiful but I favoured the pork.

On to Anvers, and Nick (below) there spoke about the product, and how Igor (owner) started out the business. We watched a factory worker making the Crown Casino chocolates Anvers make specially for that business, then finished the visit with a spending frenzy at the chocolate outlet, and a relaxing drink of their famous chilli hot chocolate.

We then made our way to Camp Banksia at Port Sorell, staying in bunk accommodation – rooms which sleep 6 people per room in bunk beds. Anyone who knows Rita will know she is definitely not your ‘roughing it’ kind of girl – so this accommodation type was definitely NOT going to be a winner for Rita – and the chill of the night, added to the all-night wakefulness of the male students from New Town High, ensured precious little rest for all!

Tolerant and long-suffering NTHS Home Ec teacher Karen was my bunkmate, and I suspect my snoring, when I eventually nodded off, may well have caused her to be awake even longer!

We woke (at 4.45 am) to the sound of the boys, still chatting after their all-nighter, banging on the wall and much hyped up by this stage, ready (or not) for their day of cooking competition at Devonport High.

As there seemed little point in trying to get back to sleep, we rose, showered and got ready to breakfast and head off to Devonport High – a 20 minute trip away.

But – an after-brekky trek to the bus to load it up showed us in the full light of dawn – a flat tyre! Bugger! Valiant Mark tried desperately to take the wheel off – but no dice – it wouldn’t budge! Calls to the bus hire company (in Hobart), and RACT proved equally useless. Camp Banksia manager remained blissfully asleep in his hut ignoring our phone-pleading messages for help!

Rita drove round Port Sorell in the Rita-mobile (thank the lord for a desire for independence on Rita’s part!) till she found a life-saving mechanic who would come back to the bus and help out! Eventually the wheel was changed, problem solved and off we went to Devonport High for the cook-offs – albeit late!

To be continued……….

Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

Don't you get around Rita? Sounds like fun so far in your story.

Victor said...

What an adventure, Rita! But not for me..bunk beds?? No, no. Esp with a bunch of teenagers = no sleep = Mr Grumpy next morning.

sir grumpy said...

Bunk beds, Rita....you deserve an award (Oh, no I don't like awards do I?).
Well just this once...``for services to the food industry above and beyong the call of blogging'' a michelin star and spare tyre to Rita.

Rita said...

You've got that right, Sir G! But what's that reference to a spare tyre about? Are you inferring something about my midriff?

sir grumpy said...

I reckoned you might puncture my piece with that logic, Rita but no, I was strictly referring to burst van tyres.
I am a gentleman after all!