The plight of an Italian woman who lost her family in Central Italy’s recent 6.2 earthquake has struck a chord with a group of hospitality and cookery students from NZMA. Now they’re hosting an Italian canape lunch in Otahuhu to raise money for her.
Kindy teacher Veronica Grondona moved to New Zealand ten years ago, but jumped on a plane to Italy after hearing news of the devastating quake, which claimed the lives of nearly 300 people, including her mother Anna Maria Masciolini and brother Luca Grondona.
After reading about Veronica’s heartache on stuff.co.nz, the NZMA students vowed to raise money to help her return to New Zealand.
“Veronica’s story deeply touched myself and my students,” said NZMA Otahuhu hospitality tutor Domenica Bavaro.
“As we all know, a similar tragedy has happened in Christchurch and as a class we decided we wanted to help. We want to help Veronica come back to a safe place where she can feel the compassion and the support of the local community, not just Italian, but also Maori and Pasifika.”
Fifty students have spent a month planning the canape lunch, which will take place at NZMA’s Otahuhu Campus on September 22. A mouth-watering authentic Italian feast will be put on by NZMA’s culinary arts students, while NZMA’s hospitality students will take care of front-of-house service, as well as function set up and break down. Their skills will be assessed by tutors as part of the function segment of their course.
Legendary Italian chefs Gaetano Spinosa and Flavia Nascimento (Spacca Restaurant and ex O’Sarracino) will be whipping up their much-revered Tiramisu. Meanwhile cheesemakers Massimiliano De Caro from artisan cheese factory Il Casaro will run a live mozzarella-making demonstration and guests will sip on traditional Italian beer donated by Birra Peroni ambassador Admir Mullaaliu. Dr Bernadette Luciano from the Italian Embassy will be the guest speaker.
The NZMA students are hoping to feed a full-house of 80 guests, and raise more than $1000 for the cause.