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Going from taxi driver to fully qualified chef isn't your typical career journey. Especially if you started your chef's apprenticeship in your 50s.
But that's exactly what Taree resident, Peter Mullany, has done. His career as a taxi driver hit a permanent red light when he was violently assaulted by two passengers, leaving him on worker's compensation with a badly injured arm and traumatic memories.
But then rather unexpectedly he discovered a latent delight for working with food while working for local café/restaurant business Bent on Food. The proprietor, Donna Carrier, noticed Peter's intuitive understanding of food and cooking and suggested he pursue this with a mature age apprenticeship in commercial cookery.
Part of Peter's training involved attending classes at Taree TAFE. Peter hadn't set foot in a classroom for several decades and, at more than twice the age of the rest of his fellow students, he admitted that the experience was a bit intimidating at times.
But thanks to the support of his employer, teachers and other students, Peter successfully completed his course as a fully qualified chef. "I've learned a lot," he told the Wingham Chronicle. "It's a nice feeling to say I've completed everything and to be able to say I'm a chef. It felt great to pass and to realise maybe I can cook a bit."