Why is it so important to start thinking about my superannuation?
It might seem like thinking about your superannuation is something you only do as you get older.
The truth is, it’s never too early to take an interest in your super. Even though you might not be able to access it for several more years, the choices you make now can have a big impact further down the track.
3rd Year apprentice Chef Claudia Meoli was the deserving recipient of the Peter Howard AM Culinary Scholarship, which was awarded at the 2019 HTN Skills Showcase.
The scholarship awards the winning apprentice with the opportunity to design their own culinary adventure, offering return airfares to the UK or China plus $5000 in spending money to further their culinary education.
Winner of the HTN Peter Howard AM Culinary Scholarship 2019 Claudia Meoli
Over the relaxing Christmas break, I took to watching the numerous cooking shows that abound on TV these days. There are so many different approaches to cooking on TV and most are being filmed on location around the globe…these shows are exciting to watch and technically very good, even though some locations would have presented problems for the host and crew.
As I watched the guys cooking, I realised that so many of them were trained qualified Chefs. Rick Stein is the statesman of the TV Chefs and a brilliant Chef – I’ve eaten in his UK restaurant a few times when he was on the pans working. And he knows his stuff for sure – just watch his knife skills on TV!
The HTN Skills Showcase gave HTN’s apprentice chefs the opportunity to sharpen their knives and demonstrate their skills, preparing and serving a 3-course meal to almost 100 guests.
HTN apprentices at work in the kitchen
Two scholarships were awarded on the night – the HTN Peter Howard AM Culinary Scholarship and the Margaret Fulton Future Food Service Professional Scholarship. Each is designed to provide the winning apprentice the opportunity to create their own culinary adventure, learning from the world’s best with paid work experience and travel.
Just when I was getting used to Spring, yesterday I noticed a bright notice, in a local restaurant window, advertising Christmas bookings and another with the menu for Christmas Day. I guess I am joining the group that says ‘Where did the year go?’ and yes time seems to have flown.
I remember the Christmas Days that I worked and all the different menus and dishes I have tried over the years and still, I know that there will always be the essentials that represent a tradition that is Christmas. Roast Pork + apple sauce, Turkey + Cranberry and gravy and so in it goes. It is a very traditional time of the year.
Tradition also, for we Cooks/Chefs, is that we work out butts off over the silly season while our customers have a great time at Christmas parties, annual get-togethers and family gatherings. And for me it was a fact that this time of the year was when I could make some extra profits in my businesses. Did I have time for family on the Day? No, but I did make up for that precious time later on. After all our business is to work while our customers enjoy their time.
So I worked many Christmas Days and when I retired I did not know what to do with my time on that special day. I soon found out how to enjoy myself but as usual, I found myself in the kitchen cooking family fare and enjoying my time in the kitchen. Instead of numerous chickens to roast, there was one; kilos of potatoes to roast were reduced to one and so on it went.
I have to admit I really liked cooking on Christmas Day and for the Christmas season and I realise that old habits die hard and for this up-coming Christmas Day, I will help cook a charity lunch for our local homeless here in Coolum Beach where I live. I know I will enjoy doing this event…tradition is hard to break.
On Vietnam Vets Day (August 18th, 2019) I was a guest speaker at an RSL event at Woodgate Beach. It was an honour to be asked and in my speech, I concentrated on what I had learned in my 2 years of National Service duty from 1968-1970.
So many things I learnt were to be invaluable to me when I went on to a career in cooking. I felt the most important lesson I picked up was discipline which is essential in the Army and in kitchens.
Discipline is, as you know, crucial in the kitchen where you are required to always take orders from your boss, your Chef or to whomever you are working with/for. I well remember the first time in the kitchen and getting more orders than I could process but I did work my way through them…with a little help. In the Army, we were required to take orders and not talk back or question an order and it took a lot of discipline to shut up and do as I was told – something I was not used to. The same in the kitchen…never backchat the Chef.
In your studies, you need to discipline yourself to knuckle down and do your assignments or whatever is needed to achieve your educational goals.
When I started my first restaurant in Rockhampton, I had to discipline myself to work the long hours that are required when you run your own business. Short days were 15 hours long.
It is 50 years ago that I returned from Vietnam to complete my service here in Australia (January 1970) and to go to East Sydney Food School to start studies in cooking and hospitality – happy days, lucky days for me to fall into an industry I learned to love and respect. I am forever grateful for the lessons learned in the Army days especially discipline.