Five Minutes with: Leisha Spowart

Five Minutes with: Leisha Spowart

Five minutes with pastry chef and winner of the 2019 Sydney J Packham Baking Industry Medal Leisha Spowart about her career aspirations and her excitement to be going to Paris for Europain in 2020. 

Did you always want to be a pastry chef?

I wanted to be a vet growing up, then I got interested in baking and cake decorating in high school, which led me to pursue a career as a pastry chef.

What made you decide this was the career for you?

I loved being in the kitchen; I’m a hands on person and love being creative. A pastry chef seemed to fit! I enjoy a challenge and it’s a bonus when you can eat what you’ve made afterwards.

What has been the biggest lesson for you as a trainee pastry chef?

After doing every cooking subject I could throughout high school and VCE, I completed my Cert IV in Patisserie at William Angliss in Melbourne.

Since working in the industry, the biggest learning curve was probably when I first started and simply understanding how an industrial kitchen operates whilst putting into practice what I had learnt.


Describe how it felt to win the Sydney J Packham Baking Industry Medal. 

I’m really excited! Didn’t feel real at first, it’s been my dream to travel to Europe and its really nice to know that all the hard work has paid off.

Are you excited for your trip to Europain, Paris in January? What do you hope to get out of the trip?

I’m really excited to head to Europain. I can’t wait to see everything there (and taste) and just experience an international bakery show.

I’m also really looking forward to the Pastry Cup and can’t wait to see what masterpieces they create. Hopefully I can collect a whole lot of ideas to implement into my own pastries and desserts back home.

Do you have any advice for anyone considering a baking/pastry career?

Go for it! If a passion is there, you’ll love it. I would recommend doing as many cooking/hospitality/food technology subjects during your schooling years as you can; this significantly helped me develop a solid base of knowledge in the kitchen.

Also, challenge yourself! You will learn so much more by putting yourself out there!

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