An Institute of Gastronomy and Good Food could be in operation in Daylesford by 2021 if funding is secured in the next year, the project’s leader says.
Lake House Dayleford culinary director Alla Wolf-Tasker AM will publicly release the outcomes of the feasibility study for the innovative education hub on Monday.
The not-for-profit community education facility, which is being developed in partnership with the William Angliss Institute, will bring together agriculture, culinary, hospitality and tourism experts and educators under the one roof.
“There is nothing that links all of the separate sectors of the food industry in terms of curricula as far as we know,” Wolf-Tasker said.
“This is a re-imagining of the food industry for Victoria and Australia… Education will be about a total immersion in the craft of food.”
The feasibility study into the Institute of Gastronomy and Good Food reveals the facility will address the hospitality skills shortage and reduced skill level and limited knowledge transfer being felt across the hospitality industry.
This is a re-imagining of the food industry for Victoria and Australia.Alla Wolf-Tasker AM
The William Angliss Institute will provide ‘world-class’ culinary training at the facility. For agri-businesses, food producers and people already working in the hospitality industry, the facility will be a hub for innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Wolf-Tasker said the vision for the institute will rei-imagine the food industry and encourage it to be considered as a continuum, rather than isolated professions.
“When we first started working with the consultants on the feasibility study we thought it was a really simple equation of providing more interesting curricula to have more people involved in the hospitality industry,” she said.
“The more we delved into the feasibility study we worked out one of the big issues is that no one really thinks of the food industry as a continuum that starts as a seed that goes through grower, producer, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, marketer, culinary professional and ends up on a plate or a shelf.
“We tend to isolate a lot of those sectors of the food industry. What we say to young people today is ‘do you want to be a cook, do you want to be a farmer, do you want to be a manufacturer of food?’.
“We should instead be saying ‘if you are a culinary professional you may be able to engage in farming, or food manufacturing or a whole range of other things’. We should not be isolating those possibilities. There is no reason a chef can’t also be a farmer, or a farmer can’t also be a chef.
“There is a breadth of knowledge that is totally missing, not just skills shortages in the hospitality industry. Bakers, sourdough making, fermentation, cheese makers, butchers, beekeepers, all traditional crafts around food.”
The release of the feasibility study comes at a time when interest in produce provenance and sustainable regenerative agriculture is rapidly growing.
But plans to proceed with the creation of the Institute of Gastronomy and Good Food are halted until the project receives government funding.
The feasibility study indicates at least $25 million will be needed to provide the required facilities.
“If we could get funding within the next year it could be up and running by 2021 easily,” Wolf-Tasker said.
“Governments in general tend to lag behind the forward push and the forward push is absolutely about provenance. People want to know where there food comes from and have a connection with their food.”
The feasibility study reveals the project will create over 200 direct jobs during construction, provide a further 476 employment opportunities and generate $22 million per year in economic benefits from education, agriculture and tourism.
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