Dedicated cooking student wins industry scholarship

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Challenger TAFE Commercial Cookery student Shaun Rawlings has won a $1000 industry scholarship and a set of beautiful Japanese knives that will make his pathway to becoming a chef a little easier.

“I am extremely proud and honoured to receive this scholarship and gift,” said Mosman Park resident, Shaun.

“It will help me immensely in further enhancing my skills as a chef and getting me one step closer to having my own restaurant.”

The proprietor of Matsuri Japanese Restaurant, Yutaka Takeuchi wanted to extend his support to Australian students who might also be in need of assistance.

Yutaka is keenly aware of the skills shortage in the WA hospitality industry, especially in Asian cooking.

“I hope this scholarship will encourage students like Shaun to learn and develop an interest in Japanese cuisine,” he said.

The life of a chef is a busy and sometimes difficult one; and Shaun has been balancing his studies and work placement at the Burswood Entertainment Complex with a part-time job at Burswood’s Victoria Station Steak and Seafood Restaurant where he works four or five nights a week.

When working at the restaurant, Shaun is able to put into practice the industry-relevant skills he has learnt at the College.

“Most of the focus of Certificate III in Commercial Cookery is on workplace learning so both students and the industry benefit,” explained Challenger TAFE’s Hospitality Program Manager, Markus Beuke.

“It’s really great to learn in such a hands-on way. I’m having an absolute ball,” said Shaun, who always knew he wanted to become a chef.

“My earliest memories are of my mother’s cooking and family and friends always congregating in the kitchen. The house was always filled with the delicious aromas of whatever was simmering on the stove.”

“I remember licking the beaters from the chocolate cake mum had just made and proudly telling her that I wanted to be a cook.”

However, Shaun put his dream on hold when he joined the army, but ten years later was able to realise it again when he enrolled at Challenger TAFE.

“Throughout my army service, my passion for cooking was always strong. My private stash of herbs and condiments were always a constant source of amusement to my mates in the army,” he continued.

It was this passion for his craft that led to Shaun being chosen as a recipient of the scholarship.

“This is such a great help. The scholarship will go towards tuition and resource fees for second semester,” he explained.

“And I’m definitely using the knives at work tonight.”

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