18 Jan 2017
After earning one of two prized spots working alongside acclaimed French Iron Chef Sakai in Japan, TAFE Queensland commercial cookery student Hyeonju Jeon is well on her way to realising her culinary dream.
A former architecture graduate and drafter, Hyeonju put this career path aside when she realised food was where her true passion lay.
“Everyone has a certain level of fear when trying new cuisines and it would be less stressful if they try new things unseen in their ordinary meals. I think my food dream can play a role in introducing new cuisines and ideas into Australian culture,” said Hyeonju.
The Iron Chef competition, held on Saturday 27 August 2016, was a joint initiative between TAFE Queensland International, Trade and Investment Queensland, and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Competitors were tasked with crafting menus around a key ingredient—coconut.
Hyeojnu crafted a delicious meal which blended fine Queensland produce with elements of Japanese and Thai cuisine. Just from a single look at the menu, it was obvious that the judges were going to love her creations. She started her menu with an entree of Tempura Scallop with Coconut Chawanmushi, Frizzled Leek and Yuzu-Pickled Fennel and for dessert, she served up a Coconut Mandarin Parfait with Poached Seasonal Mandarin, Coconut Genoise and Cointreau Chantilly.
As part of her prize, Hyeonju was lucky enough to receive a two-week internship with French Iron Chef Sakai in November 2016.
“I have known Chef Sakai since I first came to Australia and watched the TV show. I became a big fan of the Iron Chef show as I was really interested in cooking and in Japanese culture,” she said.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have a chance to meet and work with Chef Sakai.”
“My study at TAFE Queensland has provided me a strong foundation for my career as a professional chef.”
“TAFE Queensland has the best teaching facility and teacher chefs in Brisbane and this French Iron Chef Sakai experience is something you will never find in other culinary institutions.”
Using her time in Tokyo with Chef Sakai and current role at leading Brisbane restaurant Sono as a springboard, Hyeonju is looking to complete her Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management and get started on turning this dream into a reality.
In her own words: “I think my study at TAFE will make it easier to manage my restaurant dream. A modern Australian restaurant inspired by Asian cuisines, where the food provides shared experiences expressed through texture, form, composition and interaction with patrons.”
For more information about TAFE Queensland courses available for international students visit www.tafeqld.edu.au/international.
Make an enquiry
Fill in your details and we’ll be in contact soon.