Your name: Ellie Corfe
Where do you live: Mount Wellington
What course did you complete? Professional Cookery Level 5. I completed Level 3 and 4 while on an apprenticeship with Bistro Lago at the Hilton, Taupo.
NZMA got me out of a small town and into the big city. It was what I needed to progress my career. I studied Professional Cookery, specialising in Pastry and I gained invaluable skills and techniques. I’m now a Pastry Chef at a well-known Italian eatery in Auckland, where I have the opportunity to design delicious treats as the seasons change. I’m doing what I love!
This is Ellie’s story:
I was really excited to come to NZMA to move up in my qualifications, and to also see where it would take me next. I had already completed Level 3 and 4 as an apprentice in Taupo, and this was the move I needed to progress my career.
I studied Professional Cookery Level 5, specialising in Pastry and I gained invaluable skills and techniques. In fact, I learnt so much more than I expected, and it’s helped me in this competitive industry.
I’m now a Pastry Chef at a well-known Italian eatery in Auckland, where I have the opportunity to design delicious treats as the seasons change. I love to create unique dishes, it’s a real buzz for me.
How has your course at NZMA helped you?
This course gave me a more in depth understanding of the management side of professional kitchens.
Where are you working now? And what is your role?
I’m the Pastry Chef at Gusto at the Grand, a well-known Italian eatery in Sky City.
What does your work involve?
Day-to-day running of the section. All pastry preparation for the restaurant and room service. Designing new items for the menu. Making delicious treats for the retail area of the bar.
What is the most exciting aspect of your job?
I really love having the opportunity to design new dishes as the seasons change. This is the chance to experiment, and create unique dishes. The best part is putting my dishes in front of renowned chef Sean Connolly and him loving them is a real buzz.
Did your course at NZMA live up to your expectations?
At first I thought I’d just be specialising in pastry, but I found that I learnt a whole lot more about other areas, which has been invaluable since.
How did you feel when you were coming to NZMA?
I was really excited to move up in my qualifications, and excited to see where it would take me next.
What were the highlights of your course?
I loved the five week pastry module – it was the best part, so I enjoyed that the most. Which is why of course I’m now a Pastry Chef!
What did you learn?
I learnt new techniques, but also how to manage a team and effectively run a kitchen as an owner/boss. These were bonus aspects to me which have been really useful in my career.
How did your NZMA training help you on your path to your career goal?
NZMA got me out of a small town and into the big city - it was what I needed to move upwards. The training gave me better knowledge of both pastry and also the laws/rules around restaurants.
What is one life lesson you learnt during your study and work?
If you put your mind to it you can do anything. Also, make sure you end up in a job doing what you love.