I am an apprentice chef at Rockpool Bar and Grill.
I have always loved cooking. After school, I went to university but it wasn't for me. I signed up to do a cooking course at TAFE just for fun. I loved it and decided I wanted to be a chef. As an apprentice, I work five days a week, one of which is at TAFE.
Everyone needs to eat, so I get to do what I love doing three times a day! Cooking isn't just the end product that arrives at the table. There are a lot of steps involved. It forces you to be organised and there is a big emphasis on teamwork which I really enjoy. But most of all, I love how the end product is a true representation of how much love the chef has put into the dish. I am fortunate to work at one of the top restaurants in Australia.
The hours are very long which means you don't have much time for anything else. You are constantly on your feet and there is a lot of pressure to do things in time and keep everything consistent. Working in the kitchen is pretty good if you are hearing impaired because it is noisy anyway, so people are conscious about speaking loudly. The challenge is that orders are spoken to the chef and not written which often means that I miss things. I always double check what has been said and I am always vocal if I am not sure what has been said. The chef in charge will put a certain plate down so I know exactly what dish I am supposed to make. I have tried my FM in the kitchen but it is too noisy and there are other people you need to communicate with - not just one person. It really didn't work.
It's a wonderful industry and I have yet to find a chef that isn't willing to go the extra mile for me because I can't hear. You don't have to hear to cook - you just need to have the passion. If you are passionate about food and want to be a chef - just do it!
For more information on becoming a chef
Bonny was a contestant in Masterchef: The Professionals which aired on Channel TEN in 2013.
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11-Nov-2015 9:32 AM (AEST)