CLASS ACT: TAFE NSW Wollongong baking student Ella Brenton.
A Wollongong apprentice baker has credited her TAFE NSW teacher with giving her the skills to succeed after winning one of the nation’s most prestigious baking competitions last week.
Ella Brenton, 21, decided to enter this month’s 2022 Bakeskills Pastry Championships in Melbourne on the urgings of her TAFE NSW Wollongong teacher, April Hook.
Ms Brenton stunned her rivals – and herself – by claiming the overall title against young bakers from around Australia, also snagging the game meat section of the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition at the Fine Food Australia event.
In the three weeks leading up to the event, Ms Brenton received one-on-one personalised training by Ms Hook in the TAFE NSW Wollongong state-of-the-art commercial kitchens to prepare her for the event, a move she credits with helping her win the title.
“April is an inspiration to me and I look up to her as a role model. I couldn’t have done this without her,” Ms Brenton said.
“She’s an amazing pastry chef, mentorand teacher, and has had so much influence on the local baking industry.”
As part of the three-day competition at Melbourne Convention Centre, Ms Brenton had to produce goods across nine sections, including eclairs, pies, baked cheesecakes and specialty cakes. For the pie competition, she wowed judges with a kangaroo pie.
“It was a real strain on my mind and body but I was so proud of myself at the end,” Ms Brenton said.
“This has helped me benchmark my skill level with bakers from around Australia and has really motivated me to take my career to the next level.”
Ms Hook said the impressive showing was yet another example of how TAFE NSW Wollongong gives apprentice bakers the practical skills and experience to compete at a national level.
“We are all so proud of Ella and she’s again shown that TAFE NSW students have the real-world skills to be the industry leaders of tomorrow,” Ms Hook said.
“The baking industry is crying out for passionate, well-trained staff like Ella and it’s a great time to consider entering the industry and enrolling at TAFE NSW.”
To explore the range of courses available at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information.
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428