Despite reports of slow growth across the restaurant sector this year, the forecast is bright for those looking to enter a career in hospitality.
Andrew Ugarte, head of college at North Sydney’s William Blue College of Hospitality Management, said food enthusiasts who have had reservations about chasing their dreams should take action now.
“The business of eating is predicted to be even more rewarding for entrepreneurial hospitality students. Start-up and low-cost restaurants are tipped to be the best performers in the next few years, and already account for almost one-third of industry revenue,” Andrew said.
“Most people’s taste for hospitality comes from enjoying their first fine dining experience or cooking for the family. However to make the transition from an interest to a career, foodies need a strong qualification supported by industry experience.”
Patrick Di Blasio, a student of William Blue’s Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management in Commercial Cookery, worked as a milk vendor and canteen owner before he realised the importance of accreditation to progress his career.
“Having worked in the industry, I understood the various levels of management. But I knew if I was going to build a career in hospitality I needed training, an opportunity to build my network in the industry and a qualification,” Patrick said.
During his studies, Patrick completed the practical side of his training in the William Blue training restaurant William Blue Dining, which was most recently awarded Best Restaurant in a Training Institute at the 2012 Restaurant and Catering Awards.
In just two years Patrick has gained an Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management in Commercial Cookery and has landed his dream job as patisserie chef.
“I knew I wanted to work for the cream of the crop. I set my goals high and using William Blue’s industry network I secured an apprenticeship as a patisserie chef with the dessert king Adriano Zumbo,” Patrick said.
“Adriano is ingenious. There is no other kitchen like an Adriano Zumbo kitchen. It is a fantasy land full of madness, but it is also very exciting and inspiring. I feel like I am working for Willy Wonka!”
Looking to the future, Patrick said he wants to follow in the footsteps of Adriano and spend some time working overseas before opening his own patisserie in Sydney.
“I am looking forward to finishing my apprenticeship. I really want to travel overseas to experience international food first hand,” Patrick said.
“But when I come home, I want to make my own mark on the industry and open a patisserie.”