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Munro Lambly has been around for 90 years, and he knows a good deal when he sees one. The Tikipunga resident, who celebrated his special birthday last week, is a regular visitor to the NorthTec campus.
Every Thursday lunchtime, he drives down to Raumanga to enjoy a $5 meal cooked and served by young hospitality students, in the whare kai next to the marae.
Mr Lambly thinks the meals are so tasty – and such good value – that he also buys himself dinner every week, to take away and reheat in the evening.
As their most regular diner, he is well known to the staff and students in the whare kai, and hospitality tutor Sean Lynch is happy to get his feedback on the meals.
They are cooked by students on the Youth Guarantee hospitality programme – a special fees-free, level 2 programme for young people aged 16 to 19, which introduces them to the art of professional catering.
Every Thursday since mid-2014, Sean’s students have worked under his direction to produce meals for students, staff and members of the local community. Anyone is welcome to turn up on the day, pay their $5 and enjoy a tasty, hearty meal, usually consisting of two courses.
Mr Lambly said his favourite ‘whare kai meal’ is a chunky beefburger served in a bun with salads. He also likes the soups and stews and, living on his own, he enjoys the chance to eat in company and chat with his fellow diners.
He first heard about the meals when he came to NorthTec to study computing, through an ACE (Adult Community Education) course. His tutor told him about the lunches, he came along to try one, and has been hooked ever since.
The whare kai lunches are also good for the young students. William Fowlie, 16, said he was really enjoying the programme and is going on to study a level 3 programme next year.
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