Pop up polo in Rockhampton on June 9 was a fresh, elegant and sophisticated event and the flavours of the day were too – created in part by Gladstone social enterprise, Incredible Edibles.
The light group, owners of Headricks Lane and the Boat House in Rockhampton and our own lightbox, organised the event and invited Shannon Nott and Charm Mullemeister from Incredible Edibles to assist with the catering.
Shannon and Charm said working alongside four professional chefs and as many apprentice chefs and kitchenhands at the sold-out event was an experience they’ll never forget. At the end of the polo event they were given the opportunity to tour Headricks Lane & the new addition ‘The Boat House’.
Charm said she was impressed with the team they worked alongside, especially the ability of the chefs to cope with scrutiny from the customers: “In Headricks Lane the chefs cook behind a glass screen that is visible to everyone in the restaurant,” Charm said. “I’m not sure if I could work like that.”
Incredible Edibles is one social enterprise operating under the Gladstone Community Linking Agency umbrella. Social enterprises are revenue-generating businesses with a twist – to achieve social, cultural, community or environmental outcomes as well as provide a living to their workers.
Social enterprises offer employment at a full wage to people who, for whatever the reason, may not have had that opportunity before.
Incredible Edibles Supervisor and mentor Colette Giha-Carella said it’s taken nearly twelve months to build the team up to the level at which they are currently operating: “I teach them everything they need to know to be able to cater – we spend around eight hours a week cooking and working on recipes, how to work in teams, what they need to know. Everyone on the team learns differently, so we break the recipes down.”
She says while they’re selective about what assignments they take on, they’re busy building a reputation with a series of high-profile events including the polo, QAL’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Boyne Hook-Up dinner, exhibition openings at the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum and regular weddings and cocktail parties. The team have also developed a line of frozen ready-meals, which are available at a very reasonable price from Port Curtis R&R.
Utilizing the kitchen at Port Curtis R&R, Colette said the team dreams of their own commercial kitchen: “We do need our own space to be able to go out and get more work, we could do so much more,” she said.
Charm said their reputation is growing in the best possible way – word of mouth: “After every event we do, I get at least ten people asking me for the recipe for something we’ve made at an event.”
“I tell them: “I won’t give you the recipe, but I will give you a business card and you can hire us anytime you like!”