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Published October 12th 2013
Mini master chefs
Since 2002 Swipers Gully Hospitality and Viticulture Centre has provided a first class training venue for Eltham College and is open to other students. It is a bit of a HUB for the community who can meet and enjoy a good cheap morning tea. Hot beverages with a sweet treat is only $5.
Some yummy sweet treats
If you attend Swipers, aka 'coffee shop' to the students, they will prepare Toasties, Bircher Muesli, eggs or pancakes from between $5-$7. Dairy and gluten free options are available and I particularly like these. They also make and bake the sweet treats such as muffins, cookies or cake for a ridiculously low price of $2.75. Baby chinos are only 50c.
Lots of blueberries in the muffins!
A three course meals is under $30. The menu is creative and food professionally presented. Last time we were there they had grilled gnocchi and fresh sword fish cooked to perfection- yum. When I asked my teenage son if he remembered what he had he said 'A funky chicken and mushroom casserole with lemon rice.' He also remembered the hot banana bread with custard and homemade chocolate ice-cream. Children's meals are only $12. What a bargain. I wish I was a bit younger as the chicken strips were very tender. Dare I say much too good for the children's undiscerning palette.
Bookings are required for eight or more people. Further discounts are offered to groups of more than twenty people. It's best to ring as Swipers only operates during term and may vary according to exams.
It's a bit of a highlight for the Year 8 and 9 students from Eltham College who spend a week at the 'coffee shop' instead of their normal school program.
I asked one of the Year 9 students what she thought of training at Swipers Gully and she replied 'It's definitely a really good experience. I can put it on my resume. I'm making coffees today, which is good nod I am able to learn about customer service. Sometimes it's busy and that's good.'
Lots of parking
Seen as a pathway to many international service industries, hospitality is offered as a VCE and VET subject. This gives students the opportunity to train in an industrial kitchen and serve in a fine dining restaurant. They can earn nationally certificates in Hospitality.
But why should all the secondary students have all the fun? Swipers offer cooking classes for or our mini master chefs at the primary level during the school holidays. Check their website for details.
Swipers have their own vineyard and produce their own wines. Their range includes Verjiuce Shiraz from $7, Pirot Noir, Chardonnay, Sparkling Merlot and many more. Biannually they participate on the Nillumbik open cellars.
Note the view in the background
For those of you with a moral compass this is in the right direction. Swipers Gully uses an ethical coffee provider. Not far from the outskirts of Eltham/Research, the view is worth the drive.
I am most impressed by the meals and service by the young chefs, baristas and waiters. Support our young people and get great food at a great price.