A tasty way of saying thank you was well received and enjoyed by local volunteer firefighters.

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology's Level Five Culinary Arts class held an "appreciation dinner" last Thursday at Moose Lodge for the Lake Okareka Rural Fire Service.

The event was also a part of their final assessment in order to gain their diploma and involved a seven-course dinner.

The theme for their menu was Asian fusion.

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Toi Ohomai chef lecturer Tikwang Tan says the students did fantastic on the night.

"They were so organised and executed the menu well. They felt under pressure as the event was their assessment, but it was a real industry event."

He says the students felt amazing and proud afterwards, having created and delivered such a great and luxury event to appreciate people in the local community.

"The students appreciate the time, energy and effort that our volunteer firemen give to our community.

"Without the volunteers our community wouldn't be the same, as they have helped many of us unconditionally."

Tikwang thinks it is important to involve the students with all communities and stakeholders as it is Toi Ohomai's values.

"By doing so, we all together can build and nurture relationships and connections in achieving excellence of teaching and learning for our beloved students."

Phil Muldoon, Lake Okareka Rural Fire Force chief fire officer, says the Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel and their partners who attended the dinner were amazed by the calibre of the food presented, as well as the skill level of students who are only in their second year of study.

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He says the venue was also something special which few people get to experience.

"The quality of the food was outstanding, and we were provided with a unique and special dining experience.

"We are very grateful to the students, and their tutor, for the thought they put into the seven-course menu and the evening as a whole."

He says also to be acknowledged is the owner and manager of Moose Lodge who were supportive in allowing the event to take place at their venue, and who also dined with and hosted them during the evening.

"The acknowledgement and appreciation extended to Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel for our contribution to the community was well received by all present.

"The students and their tutor are a credit to Toi Ohomai. They exemplified the importance of what quality tertiary education and hard work can achieve."

He says the opportunities Toi Ohomai provides through events such as these are invaluable in enabling the students to gain real-life experience.