If you take my long term passion for writing and add it to my long term passion for checking out everything the world has to offer, you get me writing for WeekendNotes.
Published April 21st 2013
Help someone as they help you to dinner
Scarf invites you to a dining experience with a difference
The scarf dining experience is a humble yet life altering program that provides disadvantaged youth the opportunity to get hands on training in order to prepare themselves for getting a job in the hospitality industry.
It's a 10 week training program that ranges from drink preparation to hands on serving customers to resume writing and interview techniques.
The first part of the program introduces trainees to hospitality service, bar training, wine tasting, cocktail making, beer and cider tasting.
The second part of the program sees the trainee putting their newly learnt skills into practice in a formal dining setting where the public are welcomed to be a part of the experience.
The scarf dinners operate on a seasonal timeframe with menus and venues constantly changing. Scarf are reliant on the generosity of others in the industry to donate their restaurants to the program. Participating restaurants include Three Bags Full; Two by Two; Union Dining; Hell of the North; Libertine; The National Hotel; Jorg; Easy Tiger; Rumi; Mixed Business; Bistro Flor; New York Tomato; Mixed Business and Mama Ganoush.
It's the cat in the scarf as opposed to the cat in the hat
Never one to say no to trying something new, it was time to check out the Scarf Dining Experience for myself. Hosted at Three Bags Full in Abbottsford, I was greeted warmly at the door and shown to my seat.
The waitress was a sweet young girl from Iran and was very nervous so we tried our best to make her feel more at ease by making some small talk and reassuring her efforts. Good service isn't always about getting it right every time it's about how much you care and connect with your customers and it was very clear our lovely waitress cared.
Off to the side were the Scarf mentors who volunteer their time to coach and support the trainees. I'm not sure if it was the knitted scarves, dollies, napkin rings and the like scattered around the restaurant but there was such a warm feel to this place.
The food menu is limited but good value and tasty at $35 for two courses. A sharing plate of delectable goodies such as potted salmon and chicken and veal terrine for entree and a choice of pasta, beef and guiness pie or chicken tagine for main.
Scarf have a small collection of wines and beer so you can eat, drink and be merry.
Lastly onto dessert and who could go past the plate of homemade sweets which had profiteroles, rosewater meringue and a flourless chocolate treat. My tastebuds say thank you very much.
The food was good but it's not so much about the food and drink, it's about sharing in something amazing that sees people who haven't had the same opportunities as most of us given a chance to build skills, confidence and get a job.
To find out when and where the next Scarf dining experience will be check out the news section or join the Scarf mailing list on their website.