2nd-year student, Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts
She is hoping to use her culinary skills to make a difference, says Emma Ah Kuoi who is studying a Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts.
“Cooking for kids and our seniors has a very special place in my heart. I would love a career where I can create and implement highly valued nutritional organic meals for them in the future. Another thing I’m interested in is catering for special populations, including vegetarians, vegans or people who are gluten free.”
Emma is already applying what she is learning at AUT in her role as a private chef.
“I get hired to cook for people in their homes or at their events, and I occasionally also run mini cooking classes and give healthy eating demos. I would recommend studying culinary arts because there’s more to cooking than just getting it done. The knowledge you gain makes you see the world in the most vibrant and wonderful ways imaginable. AUT has world-class facilities and equipment, staff who are renowned chefs, and opportunities to get practical experience at AUT’s on-campus café and restaurant.”
Choosing to study at AUT was an easy decision, Emma says.
“I chose AUT because it has a really good representation as a university. They cater to all people and age groups, are professional and very helpful, and I was fascinated by the gastronomy paper AUT offered. I thought, ‘Why not take that up and take my cheffing skills to the next level?’”
There have been many highlights for Emma throughout her time at AUT.
“I’ve really enjoyed the hands-on experience in the kitchen. I also love learning about new things or finding out the history behind some of the things I’ve known about all my life.
“Another highlight for me was going on a study tour to Hong Kong. I’ve long had the urge to explore that part of the world because my great-great-grandfather was Chinese and a lot of the way I cook and see food is influenced by that. I really enjoyed the experience and will be forever grateful.”
Avice for other students
Don’t give up, Emma advises other students.
“Never give up trying and persevering, especially in your studies! I tell myself that every day as well. And don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking.”
Returning to study as a mature student had some challenges, she admits.
“My biggest challenge was trying to adjust to being a student again after a little while. A lot has changed, and at times I felt that I’ve missed the ‘technology train’. However, my hope was restored because the lovely academic staff are really helpful, and there are lots of workshops, student mentors and other services to help you through anything. AUT is never short of help.”