Name: Felicity Barnett
Job: Head Chef at Canteen 3215
VET: Hospitality Apprenticeship
I've just hired my own apprentice and it was really hard to find people.
What do you do?
As Head Chef, I write the menu, including new specials every week, prepare the food every morning, cook every day and pack up every afternoon. I lead the kitchen team and manage the work schedules for the other kitchen staff.
What was your VET journey?
I studied both a Certificate II in Hospitality and a Certificate II in Kitchen Operations while I completed VCE.
After school, I went to The Gordon TAFE and studied a hospitality apprenticeship. Now I'm fully qualified and I'm a head chef with a passion for making incredible food that is coeliac friendly.
One day I want to own my own café.
What advice would you give to students who are considering a vocational pathway?
Go for it! You never know until you try and I made lots of friends at Trade School while getting a qualification. If you can, take a year off after your apprenticeship to travel. You'd be crazy not to.
What challenges did you face along the way?
I first started my apprenticeship in 2017 and walked away after a few months because there were business issues.
I took a few years off and travelled the world but my heart was always in the kitchen and I eventually found my way back through the support of colleagues and my teachers and completed my apprenticeship successfully.
Support from teachers and friends at TAFE was so important to my success.
Café work means early mornings but there are lots of options in hospitality.
Inside or outside?
Solo or teamwork?
Mix of both.
Free food and opportunities to experiment!
People don't know?
You can make gluten-free food delicious.
Average salary?$1,250 per week for an experienced chef.
Reviewed 20 July 2021