Kenvale College recently hosted the 25th Winefest, which was run entirely by our students.

This year’s Winefest was another great success, and the fact that the celebration marked the event’s 25th anniversary, made it extra special. The event was run entirely by our Kenvale students who took guests on a sensory tour of boutique wine from regional Australia. Read on to find out more about some of the highlights of the day…

Why do we host Winefest?

Since 1994, Winefest has provided an opportunity for our hospitality, event management and commercial cookery students to combine their talents and showcase the skills and knowledge they have acquired whilst studying and working in the industry. Our hospitality and events students showcase wines from their sponsoring regional wineries, and work with our cookery students to present their wines with a complementary menu that enhances flavours of both wine and food.

Who attended this year’s event?

The event is attended by nearly 300 guests, which included Kenvale’s industry partners, representatives of sponsoring wineries, education agents, board members, mentors of the students, parents, peers as well as the general public.  

What were this year’s highlights?

Each year, we have an Industry Judging Panel which comprise of leaders representing all aspects of the Food & Beverage world including curators, events, beverage operations, sales and marketing, educators in the hospitality industry. The panel includes:

Ross Annas – Hospitality Lecturer at Kenvale College

Greg Isnard – Hospitality Services Manager at Australian Turf Club

Rhys Napthali – Senior Account Manager at Moet Hennessy Australia

William Wilson – Beverage Operations and Cellar Manager at ICC Sydney

On this night, we also take the opportunity to acknowledge the strong support network of the hospitality industry. In particular, the Industry Partner of the Year Award presents to a company/establishments that has outstanding collaboration with the college and our students.  The 2019 Kenvale College Bill Galvin Industry Partner of the Year Award goes to: Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney AND Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group!

It’s also our pleasure to have Anthony Sobb, chief executive of Fairfield RSL Club to be our Guest of Honour on the night. Mr Sobb created Winefest in 1994 to meet students’ demand back then were “students were quite bright, they demanded to be challenged. As such, a regular assessment wouldn’t suffice. That’s the birth place of Winefest”

Mr Sobb also commented on the evolution of Winefest after 25 years, “The enthusiasm, innovation (of the students) haven’t changed, but technology and accessibility certainly have. Those things together have blossomed into what it has become tonight”.

Five awards were announced on the night, congratulations to the students for their hard work, dedication and achievements:

  1. Overall Winefest Award – Peter Sandarousi, Eliza Urey and Cara Baker, representing Gledswood Homestead & Winery)
  2. People’s Choice Award – Peter Sandarousi, Eliza Urey and Cara Baker, representing Gledswood Homestead & Winery)
  3. Innovation Award – Amelia Eshman and Sienna Hawksley, representing Megalong Creek Estate
  4. Best Team Player – Amy Reid
  5. Best Canapes Award – Teresa Pascarella, created Grilled Eggplant roll with arugula mousse, candied lemon peel to be paird with Alex Russell Wines’ 2018 Alejandro Graciano

Who made the event possible?

The event was proudly sponsored by the Australian Turf Club, while the winery sponsors included Alex Russell Wines, Megalong Creek Estate, Krinklewood, Clonakilla, Two Rivers Hunter Valley Wines, Gledswood Homestead Winery, and Mortimers Wicked Wines.

Our other sponsors included Trinity Management Services, Tourism Training Australia, The Star, Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters, Moet & Chandon Champagne, Dooleys, Andrews Meat Industries, ICC Sydney, De Costi Seafood and Iggy’s Bread of the World.

Winefest wins big at the 2019 Tourism Training Australia Awards

We are also proud to announce that Winefest was recently awarded first place for best Training Initiative at the 2019 Tourism Training Australia awards, for its innovative learning experience that highlights the students’ work, ability and skills gained at the College to put on a professional boutique wine exhibition. In total, Kenvale College received five awards, including the Teacher / Trainer of the Year Award in the following areas:

  • Farzan Contractor – Asian Cookery
  • Ross Annas – Food & Beverage
  • Brigid Treloar – Event Management
  • Michael Ghazi – Classroom Support
  • Winefest – Best Training Initiative

All in all, this year’s Winefest was a wonderful event where guests were able to enjoy delicious canapés and wine degustation! Our students did a great job showcasing the skills they have learned as part of their studies.

To find out more about the other events at Kenvale College, please have a look here.

To find out more about studying with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Thank you for inviting us – we really did appreciate it. I must say I was really impressed by the Briar Ridge team – one of them (… Aiden) did a really great job explaining who they were, what they were about etc., and really took the time to give us the background on the person behind it all (Gwyn Olsen). He’d clearly immersed himself in the project, and I think she’d have been really pleased if she’d seen that. Happy to reach out and tell her so if you think it would help pave the way for future events.

- Anonymous, Winefest Guest 2015

I just wanted to express thanks and congratulations to all at Kenvale for the magnificent lunch provided on Thursday.

I have been to many hatted restaurants this year and can honestly say that they would have struggled to produce such fantastic dishes.

The lunch was a credit to your students and your staff.  It would be a privilege to enjoy another visit next year.

Best wishes to your graduating students for success in their career and to your staff to continue to guide students to reach such a high standard.

- Anonymous public guest at Kenvale Restaurant 2015

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