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Yamba Chef learns under the best at world famous Noma restaurant 

TAFE NSW Grafton

Yamba Chef learns under the best at world famous Noma restaurant 

TAFE NSW graduate and Yamba local Marley Van Den Boom has brought new cooking skills home to the North Coast, following an internship at three-Michelin-star restaurant Noma.

After studying a Certificate III Commercial Cookery through TAFE NSW Grafton and finishing his apprenticeship at Karrikin, Marley travelled to Japan to gain experience overseas.
When Noma, which has been named World’s best restaurant several times, announced they were launching a three month pop up in Japan called ‘Noma Kyoto’ - Marley applied for one of the coveted internship positions. 

He was delighted when his application was successful - and believes the skills he learned at TAFE NSW prepared him for the experience.

“While it’s a completely different world in a restaurant like Noma, I was fortunate enough to come in with the foundational knowledge I needed to succeed,” he said.

“I had already established my basic skills and through my experience there, I was able to grow and expand on my knowledge. It was definitely a shock to the system, working long days as part of a huge team. Often there were around 30 people in the kitchen during service, which is something I had never experienced before.”

Marley said he knew it was going to be hard work - but the internship was also more fun than he imagined it would be. 

“The team was so professional and really took the time to teach me. I have learned incredible new cooking techniques, how to use different kitchen tools, theories behind different fermentation methods and unique ways to use ingredients.”

“I have been working in hospitality since I was 14, but I learn differently to others, so finishing my TAFE NSW course and my apprenticeship didn’t come easily for me. My teachers were open to my needs and gave me the support and encouragement I needed, while always pushing me to do my best.”

“I don’t think I would have even applied for the Noma Internship if they hadn’t encouraged me to take every opportunity that comes along and give it a go.”

Marley plans to travel again, to continue his learning – but hopes to one day settle on the North Coast. 

“There is a long list of places I want to go  -with the top three being South and Central America, Canada and London. I want to learn as much as I can and see all the different cultures and ways of doing things.”

“My dream is to then bring all this knowledge home, to open my own restaurant.”


Media contact: Lauren McAllister, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, 02 7920 5000.