Le Cordon Bleu is excited to announce celebrity recruit - Julia Taylor, runner-up in the 2012 Masterchef Australia TV program, has graduated from the Diplôme de Pâtisserie this month. And to celebrate Julia's achievement, we have asked her a few questions to see what she thought of the experience of studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney:
What brought you to Le Cordon Bleu?
As soon as we filmed our MasterChef Australia episode inside Le Cordon Bleu with Chef Andre Sandison, I knew I wanted to study there. I loved the support, knowledge and facilities on offer and couldn't wait to be a part of such a fantastic learning environment.
Have you always known what you wanted to do? Or could you perhaps tell us about when you realised you wanted to be a chef?
I knew I wanted to be a chef whilst travelling through France on my honeymoon, flicking through photographs on my camera and realising every picture was of cake!
What do you think was your favourite moment while you were studying at Le Cordon Bleu?
A favourite moment for me whilst studying was learning to roll the puff pastry through the dough break. It's one of those lightbulb moments where you realise the difference between home and professional baking, thanks to technique and proper equipment. It's still something that gives me a little thrill!
What made living in Sydney the most fun while you were studying?
Sydney's such a fantastic place to live and the food scene here is thrumming. There's always an undiscovered local gem, or a new place full of inspiring flavours or ingredients.
What do you think you will miss the most now that you have finished your course?
I will miss the opportunity to sit in a demo class and then work through a recipe with the chef lecturers. We don't often have time to stop for a full explanation in the professional kitchen.
What has been the most use to you from what you learned at Le Cordon Bleu?
I've really found my kitchen theory coming into play, especially when trying to fix issues whilst baking - whether they be ingredient substitutions, temperature / humidity changes, or different brands.
What do you think the hospitality business has to offer those looking to work in the industry?
For me, the hospitality industry is both demanding and rewarding. I think aspiring chefs who are looking for an industry where you can completely immerse yourself in your craft will be satisfied, and driven to excel. It's certainly no easy task to undertake, but I love my job every single day.
If you had one piece of advice for a new student, what would it be?
Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge present in the Le Cordon Bleu chef lecturers, read ahead, and ask questions. I'd also recommend volunteering in a kitchen whilst studying; combining practical experience with learning at school. And eat! Eat everywhere, experience new food, be inspired.