50 young city chefs take milky chance to get on-farm

The Star's young hospitality staff get on-farm at River Ridge Dairies

Dairy
COW GOOD: The Star's young hospitality workers Cassie Chick, Alex Stewart and Ella McKay get a lesson in dairying. Photos: Supplied

COW GOOD: The Star's young hospitality workers Cassie Chick, Alex Stewart and Ella McKay get a lesson in dairying. Photos: Supplied

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Young city chefs and hospitality graduates have a gained a greater connection to the food they are cooking.

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Whether they're plating up a saffron risotto or whipping up a white chocolate pannacotta, 50 young city chefs and hospitality graduates have developed a greater connection to the food they are cooking after visiting a dairy farm.

Fulltime or school-based apprentices and hospitality graduates from The Star Entertainment Group's in-house training academy were recently hosted by third-generation farmers Ray and Catherine DeVere at River Ridge Dairies on the Sunshine Coast.

The aspiring masterchefs from Treasury Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast casinos learnt about everything from breeding practices and the milking process to farming sustainability and produce supply methods.

The DeVeres milk about 200 Jersey and Brown Swiss cows to produce 1.2 million litres of milk a year on their farm near Nambour and are a key supplier to Australian-owned dairy manufacturer Bega.

Mr DeVere said the producer-end user connection was important and they hoped the workers took something away from the day.

"It's vital [that] people working with our product know what we do and understand how we do it, but it's just as important we know how they want to use what we produce," Mr DeVere said.

"We hope we gave these young people an insight into dairy management, reproduction and nutrition as well as farm sustainability practices and animal welfare."

OUTDOOR EDUCATION: Ridge River Dairies owner Ray DeVere with young hospitality workers from The Star, Cassie Chick, Ella McKay and Alex Stewart. Photos: Supplied

OUTDOOR EDUCATION: Ridge River Dairies owner Ray DeVere with young hospitality workers from The Star, Cassie Chick, Ella McKay and Alex Stewart. Photos: Supplied

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The Star learning and development manager Bernice Colcomb said it was a wonderful chance to bolster the knowledge of their up-and-coming chefs and the next generation of hospitality team members.

"Supporting local is a key ingredient of our business and this farm-to-table first further highlights what wonderful, local produce is at our fingertips," Ms Colcomb said.

The Star sources its yoghurt, cream and milk from Bega brands such as Dairy Farmers and Farmers Union.

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