On Tuesday, the students began preparations in the college kitchen. It had been decided beforehand that the trainee chefs would be divided into two groups as the college kitchen adjacent to the dining room is quite small. The chefs were so enthusiastic about beginning with their cooking that all six groups were able to squeeze into the kitchen.
While the chefs began their mise-en-place, the service staff designed the menus for the tables, created a recipe for an aperitif and decided on how to decorate the tables. One group of students visited a local wine shop to find out which wine would suit their menu best. Luckily for the students the wine shop owner could speak Swedish (his native tongue), German, English, French and Italian!
Although there were some language barriers in the teams at the beginning, a sense of humour and a lot of help from other students soon overcame this problem.
To celebrate the first of the five ELOCASS workshops in style, the college invited representatives from the local Chamber of Commerce, the Town Council, the managers of training companies, board examiners of the vocational examinations and trainers from vocational training institutions in and around Hagen. Lars Martin of German Hotels and Restaurants Association (DEHOGA Westfalen e. V.) spent the day with the students as they prepared and served their menus.
As the guests arrived, they were each handed a plane ticket to one European country. A member of the service staff greeted each guest personally and accompanied them to their country's table.
Arthur Schäfer, the college principal, held an opening speech in which he praised the students for all their hard work.
The service staff served aperitifs, the menus and provided the guests with information about the wines that they were being served. At the end of the ELOCASS lunch representatives of the town
council thanked the students for all their efforts and praised the menus and service. The students and teachers came to the front of the restaurant where they applauded by the guests.
The employee of the local radio station who reported on the event said that of all the Christmas celebrations that were going on in Hagen, "this was the best".
To celebrate the end of the first ELOCASS workshop, students and teachers were kindly invited by Lars Martin, our external partner, to a local restaurant for "Pfefferpothast", a regional dish that can best be described as a peppery beef stew.
We would like to thank our guests for putting together such a wonderful lunch! It was an amazing project week that marked the beginning of a European cooperation from which we - students and teachers - have profited not just on a professional level but also personally, while forging some real friendships.