Passion, practice and patience key to patisserie chef’s success


“With baking, you have to keep learning, by training or practicing,” said Luke. “It’s important to take pride and have passion in what you do. It’s also important to love what you do.”

His advice is sound advice, as he was awarded GOTAFE’s Baking Apprentice of the Year in his last year of study in 2010 and has international experience at a renown Patisserie School in France. Luke attributes his success to his training and trainers at GOTAFE.

“My GOTAFE Baking Trainers were Kim, Steve and Maria, they were really good to me and also inspired me further to become a baker”.

Initially, Luke started his baking career at High School, working part time at Gaffney’s Bakery in Yea. He enjoyed it so much that he started working full time, beginning his apprenticeship at GOTAFE.

Once finishing his apprenticeship at GOTAFE he travelled overseas to France to train for two months at Ecole Nationale Superieure De Patisserie (ENSP). Luke took the view that France is well known for their pastries so why not learn from the best, so after completing his training he moved to Paris, living and working there for six months.

“I didn’t find it too hard to get a job. I was lucky because my boss spoke a bit of English which made it easier if I had any questions.”

Luke is now back in Australia, working at Le Petit Gateaux, Melbourne a patisserie specialising in creative cakes and tarts.

Luke continues to build his career and said he constantly strives for innovation. “Trying to be a bit different from everybody else is the biggest challenge.

“I am always trying to come up with my own ideas and not copying anybody else’s.”

Fussy eater to head chef


Chris Buzza was a self-confessed fussy eater until the age of 15, when an experience with his Dad at the MCG changed all that.

“My Dad and I were about to have lunch in a corporate box. Dad said to me, ‘I know you will not like much of the food but at least try it.’ I did and I really enjoyed it,” said Chris. “This experience gave me the inspiration to pay more attention in my food class at school and to start pursuing hospitality as a career.”

Chris started his hospitality training at GOTAFE as a Year 12 student through the VETiS (Vocational Education and Training in Schools) program. Chris also completed a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and in June this year, he opened his own café in Mooroopna, Bill and Beats.

“Opening my own business is something I have wanted to do since I first started out in hospitality. I like the idea of being my own boss and the challenges that it will bring.”

Chris believes you need to get as much experience as you can if you want to be successful in the hospitality industry.

Chris found it very beneficial and gained a lot of experience working with a variety of chefs with different cooking backgrounds, learning new skills, techniques and flavour combinations. He went on to say there is so much in the world of food you can do.

During his training at GOTAFE, Chris did work experience at Golf Clubs, Restaurants, Hotels and even the Army Barracks at Watsonia.

“I really enjoyed my time at GOTAFE. There was quite a bit of variety and it was good to learn from teachers who had worked in the industry for a long time and were very passionate about food.”

He started his apprenticeship at the Shepparton RSL and finished it at the Aussie Hotel.

“I rang the kitchen at the Telegraph Hotel in Numurkah for five years.

“I moved to London for a year which was great experience and then came back to the Telegraph Hotel for another year before taking on the role as head chef at Sebastians Restaurant in Shepparton.”

Where Are They Now? Bill & Beats Cafe


Growing up Chris was a very fussy eater until at the age of 15, an experience with his Dad at the MCG changed all that.

“My Dad and I were about to have lunch in a corporate box.  Dad said to me, ‘I know you will not like much of the food but at least try it.’  I did and I really enjoyed it.  This gave me the inspiration to pay more attention in my food class at school and to start pursuing hospitality as a career.” Read more…

GOTAFE to Launch Regional Tourism Program


A new initiative between GOTAFE and William Angliss will give local students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the hospitality, tourism and events industries without having to leave home.

GOTAFE Trainer Kirsty Ash said the Regional Tourism Employability Program, to be launched this Wednesday at GOTAFE Shepparton, aims to showcase training and career opportunities available locally. Read more…