When chatting to chefs around the country and especially our Beef + lamb Ambassadors, one of the most common themes amongst them is encouraging and imparting knowledge to the new generation of chefs coming into the industry. When you have reached the pinnacle of your career it’s wonderful to be able to look back at your own journey and what led you to where you are today. Even the mistakes made throughout one’s career can be turned around as opportunities to learn and grow for the younger generation.
So when Service IQ suggested partnering up an apprentice with each Ambassador Chef to get some real hands on experience at each of their Ambassador Series dinners, it was a no brainer! After all these are the future Beef + Lamb Ambassadors of New Zealand and what better way could there be to inspire and excite young people to stay in such a fickle industry, where the work can be hard but results very rewarding.
Daria Hardgrave is in her first year as a chef apprentice working at Marinovich Seafood restaurant in New Plymouth. Through Service IQ Daria jumped at the opportunity to work alongside Freddie Ponder and Mat Mclean at their recent Ambassador Series Collaboration at Table Restaurant in New Plymouth. It was her first experience of working in a kitchen serving up a six-course degustation menu to a full house and Daria said the thought of it was a little scary and nerve racking. However, with two of New Zealand’s top chefs guiding her, Daria said she was also excited to learn from the best and pick up as many new skills as possible.
Daria grew up around the hospitality industry as her parents owned a café, so she had always enjoyed helping out in the kitchen. She jumped at the chance to take on an apprenticeship and says even though working full time and studying is pretty full on, she knows that this is her career calling.
Once she has finished her apprenticeship and graduated, Daria wants to travel the world to gain as much international culinary knowledge and experience as she can. She then wants to return to New Zealand where she says chefs are spoilt for choice with such an abundant array of freshly grown produce to work with.
It was great to see Daria learning from our Ambassador Chefs and we are sure their inspiration will stand her in good stead with her career.