Mindful Palate

Hospitality students put mental health on the menu
Found in: Stories

A group of hospitality students at Auckland University of Technology used their unique skills to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation and put mental health and wellbeing on the menu. 

For one of the final projects of their degree, the students prepared a six-course fermentation themed fundraising dinner for 80 guests. Their mouth-watering menu featured dishes like market fish aburi nigiri with kawakawa leaf and shinshu miso, and peruvian chocolate bomb alaska with black garlic meringue. 

As well as the guests enjoying delicious food, the students wanted to recognise the challenges that can often be present in their line of work.

Student Isaac Ortiz says the invitation to attend was not only about savouring the art of fermentation, but also contributing to a healthier and more supportive hospitality sector. 

Mental Health Foundation
Mental Health Foundation

The hospitality industry often grapples with depression, anxiety, and high stress levels. It is a fast-paced and high-pressure environment that can be difficult to manage, yet it can be so rewarding.

Throughout the evening the students hosted a raffle and collected donations, raising $1,805. “We chose to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation because it supports our mission to raise awareness to nurture mental health wellbeing and spread compassion throughout the hospitality sector.”  

This mission is personal to Issac as well:

Each time I get challenged, I always try to remember the sole purpose of wanting to become a chef, it’s to feed the hungry. Cooking for people gives me joy and keeps my passion motivated. I also make sure to de-stress on my days off and have some wind down time after a shift to recharge for the next days to come.

Ngā mihi mutunga kore, endless thanks and acknowledgements to you all for your incredible fundraising and support of our mahi.  

All funds raised by our community fundraisers help the Mental Health Foundation make Aotearoa a place where everyone has the tools to enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing. This includes mahi like running nationwide mental health promotion campaigns, creating and distributing nearly one million free mental health resources each year, influencing policy makers, and pointing people in the right direction to get the mental health support they need.  

If you’re inspired to use your unique skills to raise funds to support our mahi, click the button below.  

Mental Health Foundation