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Hannah working

Second Year Apprentice Hannah Newnham is feeling on top of the world after having competed in the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef competition recently in Melbourne.

All applicants for the program were evaluated based on their demonstrated culinary passion, aspirations, goals and long-term commitment to becoming a Chef, as well as an original recipe submission.

Making it into the Top 30 of Australasia, Hannah was flown to Melbourne to participate in a program of events including masterclasses with top industry professionals, further educational and mentoring opportunities, field tours and dining at some of Melbourne’s best restaurants.

“Then we got to compete on the final day, which was incredible to be up against so many amazing Chefs. We had a big awards night – it was such an amazing, surreal experience,” said Hannah.

Originally with a career in HR, Hannah had always been passionate about cooking and enjoyed it as a hobby in her spare time.

“But I really wanted to follow my passion, so I changed industries,” she said.

“I signed up to ETC’s Yes Chef Apprenticeship Program and completed my first six months at large hospitality chain Novotel and then decided to join Bellingen’s newest fine dining restaurant – Popla.”

“Here we get down to the nitty gritty by making our own flour, butter, cheeses etc. I really enjoy it at Popla – I love coming to work every day. I get to learn so much.”

Hannah encourages anyone who is passionate about Hospitality to always be pushing yourself.

“Read and learn as much as you can in your own time. Try not to be discouraged at having a blank or light resume, if you’re proactive and passionate – quite often that stands out more than experience,” she said.

Hannah said Yes Chef made so much sense in the Hospitality industry to be learning at work, rather than off site at a training facility.

“It’s all managed by me and my Chefs, and is suited to my working life rather than set schedules. We have the control. You learn time management as well which is a really important skill to have,” said Hannah.

“ETC has also given me the flexibility to work between the restaurant here as well as one down in Sydney to experience the rush of city service.”

ETC is offering an exciting pathway to becoming a qualified Chef. If you want to gain a nationally recognised qualification in one of the highest skill shortage industries in Australia, join our Yes Chef Certificate III Commercial Cookery Apprenticeship 



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