When Kylie Power turned 40, she decided it was time to do something for herself, so she enrolled in a Certificate III in Hospitality at TAFE NSW Taree to pursue her love of cooking.
“I’ve always loved cooking, but never thought of doing anything about it. I’ve worked in takeaway shops and cafes, but I knew I could only go so far in the hospitality industry without some qualifications,” explained Ms Power.
Returning to study after a long time away from the classroom can sometimes be challenging, but Ms Power persisted.
“Going back to school at my age was difficult at first, and I had to get back into the routine of study. Once I did that, the practical cooking aspect of the course was easy,” said Ms Power.
“Even though I had worked as a cook, I still learned so much – how to identify different cuts of meat, cut meat, fish work, and how to do basic techniques correctly, such as julienne, where food is cut into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks.”
When Ms Power had completed the Certificate III in Hospitality, she decided to further her knowledge by enrolling in the Certificate II in Kitchen Operations.
TAFE NSW Teacher of Commercial Cookery, Lisa Chandler, said “Kitchen Operation students at TAFE NSW Taree learn in our on-site teaching café, Your Café. We also have a beautiful herb garden which services the kitchen with fresh produce for the food that they prepare for customers.
“We plan and structure the menu around learning outcomes and we also cater for functions which gives our students great experience. Staff, students and visitors to TAFE NSW Taree are amazed at the quality of the food our students produce.”
According to her teacher, Ms Power was an engaged, interested and diligent student who would be an asset to any workplace, which is why Ms Chandler offered her full-time employment at Your Café when she completed her course.
“Receiving a job offer from TAFE NSW was a bit of a shock; I said yes straight away! This was far more than I expected as an outcome from this course,” Ms Power said.
“For anyone who is looking to do something for themselves, I say this: follow your dreams and believe in yourself! I never thought I would find my dream job at TAFE NSW, and all I did was follow my heart.”
For more information on cookery or hospitality courses at TAFE NSW, visit our website at www.tafensw.edu.au, or call us on 131 601.