CDU student’s cooking skills to be put to the test at Culinary Olympics
A Darwin student who traded a job as a roofer to study cooking has been chosen to represent Australia at the 2024 Culinary Olympics.
Stellio Ginis, 23, is studying a SIT30816 Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Charles Darwin University (CDU) and along with studying and undertaking his chef apprenticeship he is also part of the Australian Culinary Federations’ Youth Culinary Squad.
On July 3, 2022, he learned he would be part of the Australian team in the Culinary Olympics being held in Stuttgart in Germany from February 2 to 7 next year.
Prior to entering the hospitality industry Mr Ginis worked in the construction industry as a roofer but soon realised it was not for him.
“When I was working as a roofer, I wasn’t motivated or enjoying life, so I decided to leave the industry and take some time to find my passion,” Mr Ginis said.
“I grew up in a big Greek household where my grandmother did a lot of cooking, so I was always around the amazing smells and sounds of a kitchen so that inspired me to try cooking.”
“I was able to try different things and be creative which helped stoke my passion for cooking and made me think that I could do it as a career.”
Mr Ginis now works at local restaurant Char where he is undertaking an apprenticeship.
“I was super excited to undertake an apprenticeship at Char and Matt the General Manager has been a really great support to get me started in the industry,” Mr Ginis said.
“I am learning a lot from our Head Chef Michael and Sous Chef Quincy, we have an amazing and supportive team.”
With dreams of one day becoming a head chef and even owning his own restaurant Mr Ginis decided to pursue a SIT30816 Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at CDU to help further his career. Through this degree he is learning a range of cookery skills and kitchen operations.
“I’m really enjoying studying at CDU. Everyone is so willing to help me achieve my goals and I love learning from my lecturers who are all chefs themselves,” Mr Ginis said.
“I’m thankful to have such a great support system, which includes my fiancé who constantly motivates and pushes me to work hard with my studies and apprenticeship.”
CDU Senior VET Lecturer in Culinary Arts Jason Wilkes said Mr Ginis was an incredibly hard worker and should be proud of his achievements.
“Stellio is a wonderful student who constantly wants to learn. He is incredibly driven and passionate about cooking and I look forward to seeing what he achieves in the future,” Mr Wilkes said.
“At CDU our students learn the whole gauntlet of the cookery experience and our goal is to ensure that when our students graduate, they are the best of the best,” he said.
As the only Northern Territory representative on the Australian Youth Culinary Squad, Mr Ginis has competed in a range of competitions including the Food Services Australia Restaurant Challenge.
There he teamed up with other members of the Australian squad to compete in a ‘MasterChef’ type challenge with his team winning a gold medal.
Mr Ginis also competed and was a Grand Finalist at the Nestle Golden Chef Hat Awards.
“Being a part of the Youth Culinary Squad has been an eye-opening experience and it has been great to learn from so many other talented chefs, especially since I am in the early stages of my career,” Mr Ginis said.
“I can’t wait for the Culinary Olympics in 2024.”
The Culinary Olympics will be held in Stuttgart Germany from February 2 to 7 2024. CDU offers a range of hospitality courses including the SIT30816 Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.
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