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Teen chef thrives in culinary course at TAFE Queensland

At just 16-years-old, Lucy Young is not only navigating her Year 11 studies but also mastering the art of cuisine through a Certificate II in Cookery at TAFE Queensland's Robina campus.

The emerging young chef dedicates one day a week to her culinary aspirations at the Robina campus, balancing her pursuit of a chef's career with her traditional schooling.

Lucy's passion for cooking is fueled by her enthusiasm of food being a universal language.

“I’ve always seen food as a positive way to communicate with others around the world, food is a unique and universal language that everyone can partake in,” said Lucy.

"Your skills in this industry are so transferable and can overcome any language barrier, a career in cookery can take you all over the world.”

As part of the course, every Tuesday Lucy and her classmates prepare gourmet lunch meals, priced at $10 each, available to students, staff, and the public.

"So far, my favorite dish to create has been the lamb stew because it was incredibly tender and flavourful."

“This real-world experience not only sharpens our culinary skills but also imparts valuable lessons in finance and marketing,” she said.

Lucy’s TAFE at School journey is supported by a team of highly trained educators, and cutting-edge facilities that enhance her learning experience.

“Every day I am at TAFE, I learn a little bit more, which puts me a little bit further into my goals.”

Looking ahead, Lucy plans to transition directly into the workforce through an apprenticeship, blending her TAFE learned skills with real-world experience.

“I plan to continue my education journey at TAFE Queensland and complete a  Certificate IV in Patisserie to further expand my culinary expertise.”

“Then one day my dream is to open my own patisserie specialising in wedding cakes and gourmet desserts,” she said.

Reflecting on the opportunities TAFE Queensland has offered her, Lucy is an advocate for vocational education, especially for students her age.

“You make connections with other students who have similar interests. You are taught by highly experienced chefs and are taught in state-of-the-art facilities. So honestly, if anyone is thinking about starting a TAFE course while still in high school, I highly recommend it.”