St Laurence’s Children’s Haven Charity Drive6th May 2021
33 On Bond Pop-up Restaurant is BACK!23rd August 2021
After graduating from The Swiss Hotel School in 2004, I felt that I was well prepared for a career in hospitality, I still use that very foundation today.
I’m a big believer in starting at the bottom and working your way up. After completing my studies at the Swiss Hotel School in Johannesburg, I went on to working my first job with Lebanese ex-soldiers at a large bakery that distributed nationally. I always found it so peculiar that these pastry chefs who had been through the wars could create such intricate art. What attracted me most was their sheer discipline to complete each task with such perfection, and that they were very precise and meticulous in the way that they worked.
Moving on, I worked as the head pastry chef for one of the top five boutique hotels in South Africa for two years (Forum Homini), before the urge kicked into travel. I felt I needed more. A French chef and friend of mine had worked in Melbourne for some time at Bistro Vue and suggested I send my resume to Shannon Bennett; a celebrity chef and owner of 3 hat restaurant Vue de monde in Melbourne, Australia. I was privileged to get a job as a pastry chef at Vue de monde and moved to Melbourne in 2008. Vue de monde was exactly what I needed at the time. Not only did it give me the opportunity to work with some of the best products in Australia, but I also had the privilege of meeting some of the best chefs in the country and overseas. It also allowed me to hone my skills in pastry and taught me the fundamentals of management, persistence and creative innovation. After four years at Vue de monde, having worked my way up to executive pastry chef for the Vue group, the travel bug kicked in again and I was ready to see what the USA had to offer. I worked at both Alinea and L20, which at the time were the only three-star Michelin restaurants in Chicago. I worked for both restaurants for limited periods where I was introduced to American organisation and business structure, which is second to none.
I returned to Melbourne and went back to working for Shannon at Vue de monde. Having learnt a great deal in the kitchen and having had the privilege to be part of the restaurant’s prestige, I wasn’t ready to leave just yet. Eventually when I did, I went to work as group executive pastry chef for the Made Establishment owned by George Calombaris. There I was part of the management team opening the Press Club, Gazi, Press Club Projects, Hellenic Republic and working on many projects for MasterChef Australia with and for George Calombaris.
I now am studying a Bachelor of Arts in Photography at one of Melbourne’s most prestigious universities, RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology). I wanted to further my abilities outside of hospitality with a skill that is an integral part of hospitality. I want to showcase and record what amazing food chefs are creating, and what their businesses are achieving. I am still involved in the industry but at the capacity of a consultant, and an ambassador for a Melbourne based chocolate company.