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Cookery student brings new tastes, talents to the table

Cookery student brings new tastes, talents to the table

Published:06 September 2017

TOP: CQUni’s Cookery teacher Glenn Davis demonstrates the art of flambéing to students Nathaniel Daniels and Maureen Mealy. BELOW: On his rotation as Fifth Floor Training Restaurant Chef, Nathaniel Daniels’ menu mains included the Tea Smoked Duck (left), Mushroom Ravioli with Asparagus and Tarragon sauce, and Garlic and Herb Buttered Kangaroo Rump.

After six years in the hospitality industry, Nathaniel Daniels thought it was about time he tried smoking a duck with Oolong tea.

Never shy to experiment in CQUni Mackay’s Fifth Floor Training Restaurant, Nathaniel’s not only now smoking ducks, he’s serving them with a side of fresh greens and drizzling them with blood-orange sauce.

“I want to develop menus that are creative, off-the-wall, innovative and full of flavour,” the Certificate III Commercial Cookery student said.

As part of their training, each Commercial Cookery CQUni Mackay student must develop and deliver their own menu.

On his rotation as Chef, Nathaniel’s menu mains included the Tea Smoked Duck, Garlic and Herb Buttered Kangaroo Rump, and Mushroom Ravioli with Asparagus and Tarragon Sauce.

Today, Nathaniel’s culinary talents have secured him an apprenticeship at Coral Cay Resort.

“Working at Coral Cay is exciting; we’re challenging the typical tastebuds of Mackay diners daily,” he said.

“Coral Cay offers a finer take on pub food; regular hot chips are replaced with tastier hand-cut sweet potato fries, for example.”

Mackay Commercial Cookery Teacher Glenn Davis said CQUni’s Fifth Floor Training Restaurant was often open to the public.

“Our students take turns creating their own menus that we as a team deliver together.

“All diners are encouraged to submit feedback forms after their experience too, so students also gain valuable insights to facilitate continual improvement.

“Our training restaurant provides an ideal environment for teaching apprentices how to cope with real-world pressure in a supportive space.”

The Fifth Floor Training Restaurant is located in building 1 at CQUni Mackay’s City Campus in Sydney Street.

For more information on the range of service industry courses available at CQUni, visit