My name is Tahlia Collins, winner of the AAFP Margaret Fulton Future Foodservice Professional Scholarship.
It all began on Monday morning when everything ran smoothly with no turbulence on the flight or either end of it. HGT representative, Emma Kerwin picked me up and took me to my accommodation at the Mercure hotel, generously arranged by HTN. I was then free to explore my surroundings at my leisure for the evening.
On Tuesday morning, Emma picked me up from the Mercure at 9 am and took me to the Hyatt Regency where I undertook a brief induction and orientation before beginning my work placement activities. I was initially positioned in the Hyatt’s pastry kitchen where I was introduced to other pastry chefs who both demonstrated and instructed me on the workings of the pastry kitchen and it’s role in the overall running of the Hyatt dining complex. This was a fantastic experience as I am very interested in pastry, however, had never actually seen what this job entails within a corporation such as the Hyatt.
On Tuesday evening, Emma and I went out to dinner at C Restaurant, courtesy of HTN. This was an amazing dining experience as both the food and the atmosphere were absolutely delightful. The evening confirmed my passion for creating the perfect customer experience, as the chefs of C restaurant had paired a fantastic location with dishes that were a credit to the establishment.
Wednesday was another day of work experience at the Hyatt with many more exciting things to see and help with. Working up in the buffet was lots of fun with customer interaction and seeing the end result of much of the hard work that occurred down stairs. I was also able to move around the kitchen more on Wednesday afternoon, as an opportunity to learn as much about the running of the various kitchens and their collaboration as I could. It was a very interesting day.
Initially, HTN had organised that Thursday would be my third work experience day, with Friday being left free for me to explore the city of Perth. However, on advice from the Hyatt’s Executive chef, I swapped my Thursday shift for a Friday afternoon shift so that I would be there for one of their big functions!!
This left me with Thursday free. I used this day to travel to Rottnest Island and on to Fremantle, an opportunity that I am again thankful to HTN for providing me with.
On Friday morning, Emma and I went for breakfast at the Boatshed riverside restaurant, again courtesy of HTN. This was another fantastic dining experience and the food was delicious. I cannot wait to one day find myself working as a chef in an establishment which provides their service to such a high standard.
Following breakfast I went back down to the Hyatt Regency for my third and final work experience shift. I was placed in the banquet kitchen where all the chefs were very busy getting ready for the large 350 person function. From this kitchen I was able to see and be involved in the plating up of the entrees, mains and desserts as well as the variations of each for different dietary requirements. This was a thrilling experience as the rush and pressure of producing 350 impeccably prepared and presented dishes in a very short space of time was amazing to be a part of. I didn’t want it to end.
Flying home and reflecting on my week away, I would once again like to express my appreciation to HTN for this opportunity. It has been one of the best experiences of my life and made me more determined than ever to follow my dreams and achieve my goals of becoming an accomplished chef!