Ash says she was initially a “little prejudiced” about coming to TAFE. “But I’ve definitely been converted. The class sizes are smaller and more hands-on, so the chefs really get to know each student and you get to see - and taste - the fruits of your labour.
“It’s clear they really want you to do well. All the chefs here are so engaging and unbelievably talented, I just try to soak up as much of their knowledge as I can.
“Coming from a university background, this was a huge change for me. I was used to being in classes of over 60 students, the lecturers didn’t know your name and most of your learning is spent looking at lecture slides.”
Having won silver at the AUSTAFE regionals for Commercial Cookery and gold at the Victorian TAFE Patisserie Challenge in a masterclass marathon competition, Ash now is keen to marry her nutritional knowledge with her cooking skills, working in product development in the food industry.
Growing up in a multicultural home developed Ash’s deep love of food.
And being named Year 12 Dux in the Food and Technology subject at school cemented her food industry career path.
“I went to Zest Restaurant [at the Holmesglen Glen Waverley campus] for a banquet event and was blown away by the quality of the food. I thought, ‘hey, I’ve got to learn how to make this stuff.’ I enrolled and have never looked back.”