A group of keen hospitality students are loving the experience of preparing fast food the slow way in Whanganui.
Infuzion - Food on the Go is a new takeaway food shop on Victoria Ave where chef Dean Wong is providing on-the-job experience for young cooks, bakers and baristas.
The new outlet at 209 Victoria Ave was formerly Hook, Line and Sinker and it now has a fresh new look and menu.
Wong, who has been a mentor chef to Whanganui High School (WHS) students for the past few years, wanted to give young people experience working in a real-life setting.
"Linda Hardcastle - head of food technology at WHS - and her husband Paul supported me in taking on these premises and we have revamped it and given all the walls a fresh coat of paint," Wong said.
"It used to be a pizza place and it has an excellent big kitchen which is great for training purposes."
There are standard fast food options on the menu with classic fish, chips and burger options but there are also plenty of gourmet choices.
A beef burger option includes smoked oyster pate and aioli, the chicken version comes with brie and spiced apricot chutney, and there is a satay version with peanut and coconut sauce.
"It is fast food but rather than pull things from the freezer, trainees get the experience of preparing ingredients from scratch.
"There is slow-cooked pork belly with crispy skin and pork or duck spring rolls on the menu."
Wong has another staff member employed for 30 hours a week at Infuzions which is open from 11am until 8pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
"Students have rostered times for training on Thursdays but some like to come in and help out after school on other days."
Britney Walsh is interested in becoming a baker and enjoys helping Wong make desserts which include brulee, tiramisu, cheesecake, strudel and brownie.
Kelahn Te Awhe enjoys barista duties, manning the coffee machine, while Olea Drummond likes all aspects of hospitality.
Wong says cooking and hospitality are great options for young people who like doing hands-on creative work and they can go a long way with it.
He has mentored a number of young chefs competing in local and national competitions.
"My own daughters have done really well in Kiwi Kids Can Cook competitions.
"I really enjoy fostering young talent in the kitchen."
Wong said the new business also includes a catering service which he plans to expand.