Stephen Deller Chef

Steve Deller is four months into the Certificate in Professional Cookery and is rapt at how easy returning to study has been.

Before deciding to study at Whitireia, Steve (45) had worked at Placemakers for six years, but decided he wanted to change his career path and explore the possibilities of where a new career might take him. Deller had heard from other students that the Cookery course at Whitireia was a great course. “I had wanted to do this for three years, says Steve. I had my reservations about returning to study, as I haven’t done any for so long, but I’d heard the course was good and thought this was my best bet at achieving what I wanted.” 

Recently, Steve competed at the Wellington Culinary Fare, taking away a Best of Class and Silver medal in the Main Course Pasta Dish section. “Winning a medal was great. It really brought home the fact that I can achieve at this.”  Steve can also boast (but doesn’t,) a 98% theory average on his course results so far.

Steve plans to travel once he has gained his qualification, using his new skills to help him work around the world. The Certificate in Professional Cookery also awards a City and Guilds certificate, which is recognised in the United Kingdom and Europe. “I have my sights set on Europe in the near future, says Deller. I want to work while travelling around different places.”

Steve’s partner trained as a nurse at Whitireia and has been supportive of his decision to study here. “My partner has been extremely supportive. It wasn’t an easy decision but she encouraged me and I’m glad to have chosen this path.”

Steve also accredits his tutors and classmates for making studying enjoyable and literally adding a ‘bit of spice’ to his day. “The days are very interesting, says Steve. The place and the people are great, we all learn from each other and our individual styles of learning are really fostered.”

Both theory and practical papers are taught on the Certificate in Professional Cookery, students learn everything from time management and hygiene to health and safety. Students also engage in work-experience, where they work for a restaurant that suits their style of work and level of skills. Steve will do his work experience at Wellingtons The Whitehouse, later in the year.

Eventually Steve would like to explore different cultures and learn how they use the land and its resources to survive. “I would be great to visit the Australian outback and live alongside the native Aborigines for awhile, learning how they cook and all about what techniques they use.”

Click here for more information on the Certificate in Professional Cookery


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