COLAC apprentice chef Jess Perkins’ “ultimate dream” of studying to be a patisserie chef in France could be about to become a reality.
Jess will complete Year 12 in about two months but she is already a second-year apprentice chef with her culinary career planned.
The 18-year-old Trinity College student has won accolades for her cookery skills including Gordon TAFE school-based apprentice of the year and second place in a Worldskills regional cooking final.
But her greatest reward could be the opportunity to complete a three-month patisserie course in France, as part of an apprenticeship she is considering when she finishes school.
“Ever since I was little I had a passion to be a chef and I always cooked at home,” Jess said.
She said her uncle Duncan Green, who owns Colac’s Fusion restaurant, had further inspired her love of cooking and had guided her through the school-based apprenticeship.
“I’ll start as a second-year apprentice after I finish school and I plan to do my second and third year together so hopefully I’ll be fully qualified by the end of next year,” Jess said.
“I always wanted to be a patisserie chef and I was going to apply for a scholarship to go to France but I’m considering an opportunity to complete my apprenticeship in Australia and study in France for three months; I just have to finalise the details.”
Jess, daughter of Rick and Trudi Perkins, has her sights set on a career as a patisserie chef along with learning from Europe’s culinary masters because she enjoys the challenge of creating fine desserts.
“Desserts fascinate me; they’re so interesting and they are always changing, almost like fashion,” she said.
“I don’t have a favourite dessert but I really like cooking with chocolate and I like trying new techniques.
“But studying in France would be my dream come true; it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”