Meal fit for a PM doesn’t go to waste in Gillard’s absence

INVALUABLE EXPERIENCE: Rhys Sinclair is a first year apprentice chef at CQ TAFE.
INVALUABLE EXPERIENCE: Rhys Sinclair is a first year apprentice chef at CQ TAFE. Allan Reinikka Rokachef


RHYS Sinclair prepared a meal fit for a PM yesterday. 

It was just a shame Julia Gillard was sick and couldn't be there to enjoy what Rhys had to offer.

The former prime minister was meant to address more than 100 people at a luncheon at Willby's Training Restaurant at CQUniversity.

While sickness meant she had to cancel, the show went on with barely a spare seat in the house.

The 18-year-old was one of the 24 apprentice chefs and wait staff from Central Queensland University who gained an invaluable experience yesterday.

Rhys said he started his three-year chef apprenticeship at the beginning of this year.

"I started at the beginning of the year and I'm really enjoying it so far," he said.

"This was the first time serving for me so I was pretty excited for the lunch because it gave me and the other students a goal to achieve."

The former Yeppoon High School student attends CQUniversity once a week and works as an apprentice chef at The Strand in Yeppoon.

"Being at CQUniversity gives me a lot of free will to learn what I need to learn," he said. "I hope to open my own restaurant once I'm qualified, a bourbon bar with an open grill in Yeppoon."

Although the guests were informed Ms Gillard was no longer attending prior to the event, there were barely any empty seats.

CQUniversity vice- chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said it was unfortunate Ms Gillard had to withdraw from the event but they decided to push on.

"We decided to push ahead with the lunch at CQUniversity Willby's Training Restaurant to support the many hospitality students who had been preparing for the event for weeks," he said.

"It ended up being a fantastic event and there was barely any empty seats. The university put forward three fantastic female leaders from our School of Nursing and Midwifery to be guest speakers, so the audience got to hear inspirational stories from female leadership after all."

On the menu

What attendees enjoyed yesterday:


Lemon and Mustard Chicken with Crushed Kipfler and Herb Potatoes

-lightly dijon coated chicken breast, braised in white wine stock, with parsley and thyme potatoes

Coconut Poached Barramundi with Butternut and Steamed Beans

-skinless barramundi filets gently cooked in lightly spiced coconut milk and Thai flavours


Strawberries Romanoff

-classic strawberries, cream, ice cream with raspberry liqueur syrup

Lavender Bavarian Cream with Rosewater Syrup and Sugar Bark

-cold set lavender flavoured dessert

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