My real story: Patricia D

Age: 23

Education: Year 12, TAFE – Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

Current position: Commis Chef, Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 3 years and 8 months

What does my role entail? My role as a Commis Chef includes preparing for service periods, making sure that my work station is clean and organised, ensuring that tasks given by supervisors are followed, cold section – fruit and salads, hot sections – fine dining, room service and bar outlets.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: When I was in Year 11 we had to do work experience and I completed mine at The Westin Sydney. From that point, I knew I wanted to work in a hotel as I enjoyed what I did and wanted to learn more.

Why do you like working in Hotels? I like working in a hotel as it helps me grow professionally and personally. It also gives me a test on how to manage my time and commitments because of different situations, guest’s needs and colleagues. Working in a hotel is very enjoyable, like any other work place there will always be ups and downs but working in a hotel will always be interesting and enjoyable. I also like how multicultural working in a hotel is, which helps to bring more ideas to the industry, especially how you can boost your working capabilities and how you can push yourself to do your best. I also like working in hotel as there are different aspects, like for Amora there is Bar, Restaurant, Room Service, Functions and Breakfast Buffet; moving around and learning from all different sections and outlets keeps me interested.

What surprised you about working in hotels? It’s fast growing future. And how every department work towards one goal.

What has your career path looked like to date? I started as an apprentice, then worked through the 3 years of apprenticeship then became a qualified Chef – Commis Chef.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? The proudest moment is when I went to the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Competition in 2016 and 2017, and when I became a 2015 TAA Hotel Industry Rising Star finalist.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Gold Medallist in NSW Metro.

Have you won any Awards? Yes, 2016 Bronze Medallist and 2017 Gold Medallist in Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat competition.

Where do you wish to go from here? From my current position, I would like to further my education with a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery and a Diploma, and work up the ladder towards becoming a great Chef.

What challenges do you face in this role? For me, the most challenging part as a Commis Chef is improvising meals that aren’t on the menu – when it is really busy and you have to cook off the menu dishes, it takes a bit of time to ensure that guests will be satisfied. 

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? For me, the accommodation industry will never have a dull moment – no matter how busy the day gets there will always be a person or something that makes us laugh or happy, even just simply talking to a guest. 

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? It is very enjoyable and it will give you a place to grow as a person and as a professional. 

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? It would be a great opportunity for them to grow and learn a lot of things in hotels. 

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? No, but I know of some famous people staying in Amora Hotel Jamison often like Armstrong, and the Iron Chefs.

Can you bust any Hotel career myths? Long hours are not all the time, and if you enjoy and love what you do you won’t even feel like you did a long shift! Unexciting? It will only be unexciting if you do not enjoy what you’re doing and you’re not passionate enough in your role.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? From time to time we get training for manual handling, we also go to food shows, classes, supplier events and food tastings that are very helpful for my professional development as a Commis Chef.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? Solaire Resort, Manila – it has a stunning vibe that as soon as you walk in the lobby you feel happy. It had a very relaxing ambiance.

What skills have you learnt on the job? Working quickly and efficiently, working under pressure and working as a team.

What are your working hours like? 8hrs shifts, with a maximum 10hrs, on a roster.

What’s the pay like? Above average.

Anything else you’d like to add? Be passionate and love what you do.