Chef, Zee Catering, Gold Coast
Diploma in Culinary Arts
He’s always had a deep love for food, says AUT culinary arts alumnus Esbern Rasmussen.
“I’ve always been passionate about food. After spending a year working and travelling in Europe, I decided to go back to university to further educate myself. I could see that training to be a chef would give me the chance to learn a skill that is sought after all over the world. The opportunities seemed endless.”
Choosing where to study culinary arts was easy, Esbern says.
“AUT covered both theory and practice, which really appealed to me. AUT has a strong reputation in the hospitality industry, and two years was a good amount of time for me to study. I also knew from friends and family that AUT is a supportive place to study.”
Creating career-ready graduates
The challenge of practical assessments was the highlight of the AUT experience for Esbern.
“We spent a lot of time in the kitchen, honing our skills and knowledge of different culinary techniques. In the papers, you were expected to complete a practical and written assessment. The assessments were designed to gradually increase in difficulty over the term. This meant that we were able to build our skills over time, while learning to work in an environment that replicates an industry kitchen.
“The nerves leading up to the assessment were always made worthwhile when we were able to see our achievements in a real kitchen environment. The lecturers were a huge support throughout my journey, and provided support and guidance thanks to their extensive experience in the industry.”
He considers his time at AUT a personal success, Esbern says.
“I’ve always had problems with my reading and writing, and I left school when I was 16, at the end of Year 11. I hope my success in the diploma will bring encouragement for future students and show that if you’re committed and have the right attitude this course is perfect.”
Valuable international opportunities
After graduating at the end of 2016, Esbern got to apply his culinary arts skills at the prestigious Stanford University.
“Thanks to an AUT Internz International Scholarship, I interned as a chef at Stanford’s residential housing and dining department. The team was responsible for plated dinners and banquet catering for Stanford alumni and faculty.
“The Internz internship was an opportunity to work with an amazing employer and for an operation of a size that doesn’t really exist in the New Zealand market. AUT also gives each intern assistance with US immigration processes and financial support.”
After completing his internship, Esbern went to Europe to work as a chef at French bistro Snaps in Reykjavik, Iceland. He has now returned to the Southern Hemisphere and is working as sole chef for film catering company Zee Catering in the Gold Coast.