Melissa a skilled host­ess

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCKOY

Melissa Loomans is an ex­pert when it comes to match­ing any wine with the per­fect meal.

One of her favourites is pinot noir and with­out the slight­est hes­i­ta­tion she said: ‘‘ That would go with roast pork or lamb or maybe even a pasta with a tomato- based sauce.’’

And she is more than equipped to make that call af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Win­tec last Thurs­day with a certificate in food and bev­er­age level three and ad­vanced wine ser­vices level four.

As an am­bi­tious 20-yearold, she poured her heart into her course and reaped the re­wards for her ef­forts.

She was named the most out­stand­ing stu­dent and was se­lected to de­liver the grad­u­a­tion speech on be­half of all the stu­dents there. Ner­vously she ac­cepted. ‘‘ I usu­ally don’t like speeches,’’ she said. ‘‘ But I man­aged to get a laugh out of the crowd so it was ac­tu­ally quite fun.’’ Ms Loomans has been in­ter­ested in the hos­pi­tal­ity line of work most of her life and stud­ied it for five years at Mata­mata Col­lege.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from col­lege she took a gap year and worked at the Re­doubt Bar and Eatery which set in stone her decision to study it fur­ther.

Now she is back work­ing there full­time, with a bit more knowl­edge up her sleeve and lov­ing ev­ery mo­ment of it.

As part of the course, the stu­dents had to com­plete as­sign­ments on liquor li­cens­ing, wine tast­ing and food and wine match­ing.

‘‘We also learnt about how to serve cus­tomers, how to deal with them and su­per­vise restau­rants and cafes,’’ she said. And now she wants to put her skills into ac­tion while trav­el­ling the world.

‘‘ My dream is to travel around the world and work in all sorts of restau­rants and maybe even own one later on,’’ she said. ‘‘I want to go ev­ery­where in­clud­ing Europe, Canada, Amer­ica, Brazil and lots of other places.’’

Ms Loomans said she was also in­ter­ested in wine grow­ing in the fu­ture and may tackle more study in this area.

When she is not work­ing in the res­tau­rant she en­joys paint­ing and play­ing a bit of net­ball.

She has played net­ball since she was a five year old at Mata­mata Pri­mary and con­tin­ued to play right through her school life with a num­ber of clubs in­clud­ing Hin­uera.

She took a break last year while study­ing but is keen to get back into play­ing and um­pir­ing this sea­son.

But for now, a cel­e­bra­tory wine is on menu.

Taste for fine wine: Melissa Loomans was named most out­stand­ing stu­dent af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Win­tec last week where she stud­ied a certificate in food and bev­er­age and ad­vanced wine ser­vices.

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