6/2/13 update – the two Cook for Your Career finalists has been announced and WA’s own Toni Mc Analen is in the running to win an apprenticeship with Print Hall’s David Coomer 🙂 vote for her on Cook for your Career’s facebook page – voting closes 25/2/13 .
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I love hearing about the success of foodies and their journey to turn their passion for food into their career / business. Last week, I had the opportunity to interview Print Hall’s Director of Food, David Coomer about his journey and Cook for your Career (C4YC). An initiative where one budding chef will have the opportunity to win an apprenticeship in one of Australia’s top restaurants and learn from renowned chefs across Australia.
Here’s my interview with David Coomer…
How did you start out? What was it that made you decide you wanted to be a chef?
My Mum suggested I go to catering school to get me off Bob Hawkes surf team.
What was your greatest career challenge?
Starting my own restaurant, its every chefs dream but its a hell of a lot harder than just poncing around a kitchen.
What’s your advice to aspiring chefs?
Learn the basics first, filleting fish, making sauce and boning meat are skills you will use forever.
What’s your greatest joy in cooking?
Cooking for family and friends at our farm in Manjimup.
Your all time favourite dish to cook? Favourite dish to eat?
At Star Anise we developed this beautiful Chinese lacquered pigeon dish with abalone and XO sauce the skin of the pigeon came out crispy and a deep mahogany colour and the meat a beautifully medium rare. It made me smile every time I carved it. Definitely also one of my favourite dishes to eat.
What will you teach your apprentice if a Western Australian contestant wins?
If they have enthusiasm and the right attitude, everything I know.
The winner of Cook For Your Career will win a fully paid apprenticeship in one of the best restaurants in Australia which is an amazing head start for budding chefs. Cook for Your Career entries close this Thursday 14 December 2012 and is open to anyone of working age with a passion for the kitchen in Australia. If you’re a budding foodie looking to become a professional chef you can enter at the Cook for Your Career website.
This year’s Cook for your Career participating chefs who will take the winning apprentice under their wing include:
- Shane Delia – Maha in Victoria;
- Peter Doyle – @ The Quay in New South Wales;
- Ryan Squires – Esquire in Queensland;
- Nick Moutou – Il Piatto in Northern Territory;
- Camillo Crugnale – Assagio in South Australia;
- Graham Taute – Wrest Point in Tasmania; and our very own
- David Coomer – Print Hall in Western Australia.
There will be three judges that will judge the finale Cook Off at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2013. The two finalists will be the state finalists with the largest amount of votes from the public. One person from the public will win the chance to be a guest judge. The second judge will be a journalist and Chef Adam D’Sylva has been confirmed as the third judge.
Last year’s joint winners featured below were Ryan Grant who won a full apprenticeship with Ben Russell from Aria and Michael Frenkiel who won a full apprenticeship with this year’s judge Adam D’Sylva from Coda.
If you’re a budding chef and you’re up for a cook off – good luck! I look forward to following your journey.