We’re partnering with Garden State Hotel, 101 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, for Spring Scarf ’19. Scarf Dinners will run on the following nights with Scarf trainees and mentors looking after the front of house and Garden State Hotel chefs doing the cooking:

– Tuesday 1 Oct        – Tuesday 29 Oct
– Tuesday 8 Oct        – Tuesday 12 Nov
– Tuesday 15 Oct      – Tuesday 19 Nov
– Tuesday 22 Oct      – Tuesday 26 Nov

We’re particularly excited to bring Scarf Dinners to Garden State Hotel; the venue has employed six Scarf graduates (at last count!) including Negasi, who came back to Scarf as a mentor and trainer in 2018. 

To book a Spring Scarf Dinner, please email [email protected] and specify the following:

  • Date
  • Preferred time (6.00, 6.30, 7.00, 7.30 or 8.00pm)
  • Number of guests
  • Dietary Requirements
  • Contact phone number and email address


Spring Scarf ’19 trainees – L to R – Upamali, Oliver, Ayieda, Ru, Dim (seated), Jan, Mirna and Masooma
Photo: Peter Tarasiuk


The Garden State Hotel chefs have designed a two course menu (entree & main, $45 per person) which we think you’ll agree sounds very tasty. Entrees include ‘Spiced cauliflower fritters with lemon & parsley aioli’ and ‘Beef bresaola carpaccio with horseradish & sweet rocket’. Come main course, difficult decisions will have to be made! We’re sure the ‘Grilled sirloin with parmesan mash, spinach & confit cherry tomatoes’ will be popular, but the ‘Mushroom linguine with truffle pecorino and chilli’ is a likely crowd-pleaser, and ‘Tasmanian salmon with wombok slaw, bok choy & shiso dressing’ sound seriously delicious too. If you’ve got room, perhaps you’ll request the dessert menu and finish with ‘Creme brulee with coconut biscuit’ or settle on a classic chocolate mousse. Y-u-m.


The Spring Scarf Dinner menu - Garden State Hotel


Scarf trainees are resilient young people seeking protection and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds who’ve faced barriers to employment. Throughout their 10 weeks at Scarf, they’ll be trained in a range of hospitality and other job readiness skills, preparing them for future work in hospitality or other customer-service industries. During a season of Scarf Dinners, trainees are paid Restaurant Industry Award wages* to put their newly learned skills to the test in real, busy dinner services in awesome Melbourne venues. 

Scarf mentors are hospitality professionals who volunteer their time to support trainees. Mentors taking part in the Spring Scarf ’19 season come from venues including Carlton Wine Room, The Everleigh and Pullman Hotel. 

* a lack of local work experience and local referees is consistently identified as a key barrier to employment for people who are newly arrived. By providing our trainees with paid work experience and references to put on their resumes, Scarf programs immediately address this barrier. 


The ‘Garden Grill’ dining room, where Scarf Dinners will run every Tuesday until 26 November. Photo: Supplied. 


The Spring Scarf ’19 season will see another eight young people participate in training, mentoring and paid work experience with Scarf. The knowledge, skills, confidence and connections they’ll gain will greatly assist them in moving into mainstream employment, as it has done with the 235 young people who’ve graduated from Scarf programs since 2010. 70% of Scarf graduates move on to meaningful jobs within six months, at places like Garden State Hotel, Siglo, Two Birds Brewing, Free to Feed, Bibendum Wine Co, Cumulus Inc. and Super Ling. 


Scarf Dinners offer real-world training and paid work experience for trainees, who are supported by hospitality professionals in a mentoring role. Photo: Roger Ungers


As always, we offer a fabulous drinks list thanks to generous support from Punt Road Wines, Stomping Ground Brewing Co, STARWARD Whisky, Four Pillars Gin, Casa Mariol, Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co, Campari Australia, Napoleone, Five Senses and Larsen & Thompson. Please note Scarf Dinners are not BYO.


What is Scarf? 

Scarf is a social enterprise that gets young people into jobs while adding flavour and heart to the hospitality industry. We partner with great Melbourne restaurants and other hospitality businesses to run awesome hospitality training, mentoring and paid work experience programs. Scarf trainees are keen, resilient young people seeking protection, and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds who have faced barriers to employment. Scarf volunteer mentors are hospitality professionals who work closely with the trainees during Scarf Dinners to grow their skills, knowledge, confidence and connections. Together, we create a hospitality industry with more opportunities, more diversity and more equity. 

We look forward to seeing you at a Scarf Dinner soon!




Garden State Hotel. Photo: Supplied