I left school about half way through year 10, for many reasons, but the main reason was I started questioning myself as to why I was putting myself through something I hated so much. Half of me was thinking if I don’t stick it out and complete year 12 then I will be no one, who can never get a job or go anywhere with my life. The other half of me just wanted to leave more than anything. I have always liked cooking but it wasn’t really until I left school that I actually considered it as a career. Then after not doing anything for about 5-6 months, reality hit that if I don’t like school, then I better find something else I enjoy doing. After long, long conversations and thinking sessions with myself, I decided why not try cooking, something I love to do, as a career pathway. I then applied for Certificate 3 in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at V.U., but decided that a $3000, 3 year program might not be the way to go until I was completely sure that was what I wanted to do. Then... I found STREAT.
It seemed (and was) like the perfect opportunity to get some experience with front of house and back of house, to decide what I really enjoyed, and all without 3-year strings attached. Throughout this short 5-months so far, I’m confident that cooking is what I love, and becoming a qualified chef is definitely my goal. I feel good about this decision because I am finally motivated to get up every morning because I’m not waking up dreading the day ahead of me. I’m waking up and feeling excited because I know I’m going to be doing something I love all day. I’m really not too sure as to why I love cooking so much, I think it definitely has something to do with making something out of nothing, and just having pretty much a piece of art in front of you, that you're left to feel good about. You know exactly what's in it and how it’s been made, and it just makes you feel really proud and accomplished. The feeling I get in the kitchen is like no other as well. I feel completely stress-free. It’s almost like I forget about everything and all of life’s problems, once I get into that zone. And all I do is focus on my task and sort of drift off into another world, where time flies, and sometimes you wish it hadn't.
Before I started STREAT I happened to have a few cook books, all mainly pastry and desserts. So I suppose to pass time and because I loved cooking, I've always cooked a lot of desserts. Throughout this course I have decided that I want to be a pastry chef. I think desserts are such a main part of food and eating and they tend to get a bit un-noticed or not as much attention as your typical mains, because that’ s what everyone thinks when you mention cooking. Also I think I enjoy the challenge of pastry, which is extremely hard. I also remember Janice, our commercial cookery consultant, once told me, “There are not many good pastry chefs, because a lot of people don’t like working with pastry, so if you are good you will be very valued at any restaurant.” And I think the presentation and all the different, exotic ways you can present desserts is amazing and eye-catching, and I do believe people eat with their eyes first.
I am now 5 months through my 6-month course and have grown and changed so much mentally and physically. I feel like a stronger, more confident person who is 100% about what I love doing and my passion. I am no longer beating myself up about not completing school, because I honestly feel as though I've made the right choice in the end. Now instead of still being stuck at school everyday just to say I've completed year 12, I almost feel as though I've been given a head start at my career. I feel really lucky that I've found such a strong passion towards something whilst I’m so young, and now it is really just my turn to take advantage of every opportunity possible and continue pursuing my dreams.
- Street culture
- Social Enterprise
Buy a STREAT T-shirt