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Cooking for Taylor-Mae Lewis is a matcha made in the kitchen

TAFE NSW The Hills

TAFE NSW The Hills student Taylor-Mae Lewis may be a second-year apprentice chef, but she’s already making her mark in the cooking industry. In 2018 she placed third in the Nestle Golden Hat competition and was promoted to Junior Sous Chef while working at Quoi Dining at the age of 20 years.

Growing up on the Central Coast of NSW, Taylor-Mae has always loved food, so she embarked on a career as a chef until at the age of 17 years she broke both her feet and was told she would never be able to finish her training, let alone be able to walk along the beach.

Taylor-Mae has proved the naysayers wrong, she recovered from her injury and was back in the kitchen six months earlier than expected. With a desire to pursue her passion for fine dining, she moved to Sydney and enrolled in the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at TAFE NSW The Hills.

Taylor-Mae Lewis said, “I love working with fresh produce, the beauty of fine dining is that you work with such amazing produce and there is such precision with what you do.”

Taylor-Mae is now working as a second-year apprentice at The Victor in Dural and is enjoying working in an open kitchen with a line of sight to the diners.

“Working in an open kitchen means I can see the dishes go out to customers, it’s really rewarding seeing customers enjoy the food I create, I can see their smiles and I get to see them taking photos for social media.

“The best thing about being a chef is creativity with food, and it sounds crazy but I love the pressure during service.

Taylor-Mae has another year to complete her apprenticeship and in a few years’ time hopes to open her own fine dining restaurant with her partner who is also a qualified chef.

According to the 2016 Census, the food service and accommodation sector accounts for 738,231 positions or 6.9 per cent of Australia’s total working population.

“If you’re thinking about a career as a chef then you have to believe in yourself and keep going. You need to have the passion because you can produce the best when you love what you do.”

“The teachers are TAFE NSW The Hills are amazing. They’re very supportive and I’m learning a lot of things that I don’t get the opportunity to do at work like baking.”

To learn more about studying cookery at TAFE NSW visit or call 131 601.

Media contact: Teresa Lane, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner 9796 5476, mobile 0412 773 887