Spring Scarf Dinners will run on Tuesday nights at The Empress Hotel in Fitzroy North from October 6th – December 1st. During the Spring Scarf season, our front-of-house trainees (young people from refugee, asylum seeker and migrant backgrounds) will learn all the ins and outs of service, whilst being supported by their mentors, who come from fantastic venues like The Grand Hyatt, Heartbreaker and Shebeen.

The Empress Hotel head chef, Lucy Warner, has created a delightful two course set menu (entree + main, $40). Lucy and her team of chefs will be taking care of the cooking. Expect delicious dishes like house-made Calabrian sausages with white bean mash, wild Italian greens & roasted capsicum butter, and pan-seared rockling, puy lentils, roasted carrot mash & herb salad. Vegetarians needn’t fear; there are fabulous non-meat options. There’ll even be dessert on offer, if you have room!

As always, there’ll be a hearty drinks list thanks to generous support from red + white and Mezzanine Wine, Little Creatures, The West Winds Gin, Casa Mariol Vermut Negre and Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co.

As a Scarf diner, you play a really important role in the way Scarf trains the young people in our program. Scarf trainees are young refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants who are facing barriers to employment. They come to Scarf because they are keen to expand their skills and networks to find work in the hospitality industry. By undertaking our 10 week front-of-house training program, the trainees build their knowledge, skills, confidence and networks whilst being supported by the ace Scarf mentors – hospitality professionals volunteering their time.

Trainees are paid for the hours they work during Scarf Dinners, making Scarf count as real work experience. When the program’s over, we support our graduates to find meaningful jobs in the hospitality industry.

You are absolutely integral to these young people gaining experience, which is often the key to finding employment. So, in advance, thanks so much for booking a Scarf Dinner and choosing to do more than dine!