Published On: 5 July 2023Categories: Stories

Apprentice cook Chloe Bowen started volunteering in her school kitchen one day a week to get out of school work rather than out of any passion for cooking.

However, within a couple of months, teacher Nietta Lynch saw the potential and encouraged Chloe to complete a two-year school-based traineeship through Jordan River Learning Federation. Nietta also encouraged Chloe to apply for the Loaves and Fishes apprenticeship.

Armed with a passion and flair for cooking, and with a Certificate I in Hospitality and a Certificate II in Kitchen Operations, Chloe, 18, started an apprenticeship with Loaves and Fishes, February 14, at the new southern kitchen at the Grace Centre in Rokeby.

She has gone from volunteer to occasional supervisor of four school-based trainees who attend Bayview Secondary College.

Chloe and production supervisor Patrick O’Connell, who moved from Devonport to lead the kitchen team, both started on February 14, tasked with transforming an empty shell into an efficient kitchen producing thousands of meals a week.

“It was pretty nerve wracking; new workplace, new job, people, new processes and dishes,” Chloe said.

“I’m enjoying the apprenticeship and I love that we get to help people in need across the state.”

From vet to cook

Chloe says when she was younger she had dreams of being a veterinarian, although also had fond memories as a child of baking with her nan.

“I volunteered in the kitchen at school to get out of my other classes, but then really started to enjoy cooking, prep and serving.”

Patrick said Chloe had done an outstanding job since they began the journey together in February.

“We were doing everything, from installing and testing equipment and shelving to establishing processes.

“She has high standards and a good worth ethic and is able to follow instructions and is keen to learn,” he said.

“I’m confident to leave the kitchen, knowing Chloe will keep things running smoothly.

“I cannot speak highly enough of her.”

Top chef leads opening event

Together with the Devonport kitchen, in the state’s north, up to 9000 meals a week are being produced for the state’s most vulnerable.

The Rokeby kitchen officially opens on Thursday, July 27th, when the Loaves and Fishes kitchen crew team up with chefs from acclaimed Hobart restaurant Peppina to produce and serve a sumptuous four-course meal to 70 special guests dining at The Grace Centre.

Chloe said she was excited and terrified to be working alongside Peppina culinary director and Loaves and Fishes ambassador, Massimo Mele.

“It will be a busy but enjoyable night, and a great learning opportunity.”

If you would like to join us for ‘An Evening with Loaves and Fishes Tasmania’ the official opening of our new Rokeby kitchen you can register your seat here:

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