Blogs (Career Inspiration Articles)

From apprentice to culinary virtuoso

Luke Piccolo’s career has been powered by passion, perseverance and professionalism. We chart his tips for success.

From apprentice to culinary virtuoso

From working in the family business to being 'The Business'

A finalist at the prestigious NSW Young Achievers Award, Luke reveals the crucial role TAFE NSW played in his remarkable journey. He reckons you should get yourself a real taste of opportunity.

1. You can do it – but do it better with support

After cutting his teeth cooking bacon and eggs in the family’s Griffith café as a teen, Luke started a commercial cookery apprenticeship at TAFE NSW.

“It’s offered me so many opportunities – different events, different mentors, and different training routes,” says Luke.

“I don’t think young people appreciate where it can actually lead you.”

2. Be yourself

At TAFE NSW, Luke automatically felt at home which made him perform well. He discovered like-minded students and teachers with awesome industry experience.

“The teachers were amazing and they took me under their wings.

“I’d always loved cooking but hadn’t had much experience with the commercial side of it and it was a real eye-opener.”

3. When you open doors – more doors will always open

“I credit TAFE NSW as the reason I moved to Sydney and I credit it with helping open doors for me.”

Luke was given the opportunity to be part of a TAFE NSW team in the famed 100 Mile Food Challenge. The team finished runner-up and Luke was crowned top apprentice.

“There were lots of media and celebrity chefs there and I ended up being offered a job out of it at Pendilino in Sydney.”

4. Keep going, keep learning

Luke continued his TAFE NSW studies and continued pressing the flesh in the city’s buzzing restaurant scene. With his talent and TAFE NSW connections, he was soon donning the apron at the two-hatted Pilu at Freshwater.

Europe beckoned and Luke was soon working a stint in some of Italy’s leading restaurants.

5. Pay it back

In 2015, he returned to his spiritual home of Griffith, opening Limone Dining, a restaurant that has already snagged a swag of awards and gained a reputation as one of the finest in regional NSW.

“Grasp every opportunity that comes your way and keep building relationships and contacts.”


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