Student cooks shine bright at massive conference

Over 600 delegates swarmed to Tatiara to attend the much anticipated State Community Landcare Conference in Bordertown over a fortnight ago.

The massive week was capped off with an equally massive gala dinner, and students from Bordertown High School were tasked with preparing a three course meal for those in attendance.

They weren't alone in the kitchen, with Old Mundulla Hotel head chef John Phillips sharing his vast knowledge and experience with the home economic students.

Preparing food for approximately 200 people during a massive event for the Tatiara was unbelievable experience for the students, who also got to show off produce from the region.

The meals on the night included ingredients that were locally sourced from some of the many fantastic industries scattered throughout the Tatiara.

The two entrees on the night included locally sourced foliage, beef from Keith's Bully's Meats and Carter's Wolseley Organic Farm chickpeas.

Locally produce featured heavily in the mains, with local turkey meat from Pooginagoric Farm and lamb from JBS Bordertown.

Desert allowed for the students to showcase their baking skills, with attendees praising the overall beauty of the students triple-decker cake which was designed in accordance with Landcare SA's 20th anniversary.

Mr Phillips said he was incredibly impressed with the students attitude and the commitment they showed on the night.

He also mentioned how the high pressure situation they were exposed to allowed for them to get a great understanding of life in the "real world".

"The idea was to let them know what it's like in real life kitchen - they learnt what it was like to have someone tell them what to do and tell them if they are doing something wrong," Mr Phillips said.

In the early stages of the night, he said the kitchen resembled an episode of Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Knightmares', but after some adjustments the students began to flourish in their roles.

"It's a credit to the kids, at one stage during the night they cooked and served approximately 200 meals in less than 25 minutes," Mr Phillips said.

For many of the students they had never cooked for a large group of people, they displayed excellent teamwork.

Mr Phillips said the students completed two days of "prep work" before the actual dinner, which included folding serviettes and setting cutlery and glasses.

"We couldn't get in the kitchen to set-up until after 2pm, so the kids were under pressure to get everything set up before 5:30pm," Mr Phillips said.

Credit was given to Bordertown High School home economics teacher Vicki Scown for the work she did to prepare the students for the dinner.