Cookery apprenticeships are a great way to learn

January 5, 2022 BY

Restauranteur and owner of well-known Geelong restaurants, Felix and Alma, Jesse Hughes and apprentice chef Finn Rogers.

NOT all teenagers know the career they want to pursue, but for Finn Rogers, choosing a career in the kitchen was a clear front runner when considering his next step after completing his schooling.

“Working in the kitchen is exciting! The pressure and the speed add to the excitement of the day,” he said.

Starting his apprenticeship at renowned Geelong restaurants Alma and Felix, Rogers is now in his third year and still loving the daily challenges.

“This is such a huge learning opportunity. Working at Alma and Felix is like a family. It is a fantastic place to grow and learn and we are all great teammates and great friends,” said Rogers.

As a child, Rogers’ strongest memory was his time with his family in the kitchen making handmade pasta.

“Both mum and dad were excellent cooks, and I really took inspiration from them to enter the kitchen as a career,” he said.

A cookery apprentice spends most of their time working in the kitchen, attending trade school once a week at The Gordon to finesse the skills they learn in the workplace.

“The knowledge of the teachers is amazing, they are so willing to share their experience and so happy to answer my questions, and I ask lots of questions,” Rogers said.

“Being an apprentice is a great way to learn. Organisation skills and time management is super important, along with being able to work under pressure. All of these skills are really transferable and would come in very useful in any job I undertake.”

Jesse Hughes, owner of well-known Geelong restaurants, Felix and Alma, has 15 years in the industry and trained at The Gordon.

He has always had a passion for food and loves to share his knowledge and experiences with his apprentices.

“Excellence and loyalty are key to having a great restaurant, and having apprentices really adds to building and owning a great business. Having Finn with us brings great value to the team,” Hughes said.

“We hire the personality and teach the skills. We put in long hours with the team, so you need to make sure we can all get along.

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with The Gordon as part of their industry engagement focus group to ensure what students are learning is current and relevant. The new multimillion-dollar culinary facilities and equipment at The Gordon will take the apprentices learning experience to the next level.”

As the region’s tourism and hospitality industry gets back on its feet, the demand for training and apprentices will continue to grow.

To find out more about commercial cookery and becoming an apprentice, visit thegordon.edu.au.