A TEAM of students from the Bega campus of TAFE Illawarra will travel to Ultimo, Sydney, this week to compete in the TAFE NSW Culinary Competition.
The team includes apprentices Zoe Crosbie, from Merimbula Aquarium and Wharf, Laura Kite, from the Waterfront Café, Lachlan McNeil, from Zanzabar, and Andrew Mitchell from Wheelers Restaurant.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Mr Mitchell said.
“It’ll be a great experience.”
Although Mr Mitchell is going as a back-up, a role that limits him to weighing and preparing ingredients, he said “it’s a bit nerve wracking, being my first competition”.
Head teacher of Hospitality and Tourism at TAFE Bega Deidre Jory explained how “all the TAFE institutes from NSW compete against each other”.
“Illawarra gets to send two teams because our institute is so broad, from here up to Wollongong,” she said.
Ms Jory described the challenge the team will face.
“It’s all mystery box ingredients and they must prepare an entrée, main and dessert,” she said
The team must prepare the food within a strict time limit, and practised under the tuition of chef David Arens.
After presenting the required range of dishes, Mr Arens gave the team feedback including ideas for presenting the food, and options to consider with various ingredients they might be given.
Mr Mitchell said being a chef was “what I wanted to do when I left school”.
He said he felt the job had good prospects locally, and for travel.
Mr Mitchell explained the apprentices “come to TAFE once a week, every Monday, for a full day with theory in the morning and practical in the afternoon”.