- Category: Education
- Created: Tuesday, 12 May 2015 11:02
Two EIT graduate chefs have a superb entrée to their careers working at The Farm – the Cape Kidnappers’ lodge where guests are served up only the very best in culinary fare.
John Dransfield and Eoin Twomey launched into EIT studies from rather different directions.
John was on an altogether different career path when he decided to pursue his long-held passion for cooking. And after arriving in New Zealand from Ireland as a 22-year-old, Eoin worked in several food establishments before settling in Napier to begin his training as a chef.
“When I was a young fellow, I enjoyed cooking and wanted to be a chef,” says John. “It was not sexy in those days and I was told I could do much better.”
Living in Wellington, John was drawn to Hawke’s Bay in 1987 by a job with an international wool-broking company. During his last seven years in business, he worked as a trouble-shooter, directed by accountants and lawyers to help companies through their difficulties.
With two of John and wife Vicki’s three daughters at university, enrolling in EIT’s Diploma in Professional Chef Practice programme was a significant undertaking.
“I had to be serious about it,” he says. “It was a big commitment.”
Encouraged by Vicki, he took the plunge and now he’s glad that he did.
Required to work in the industry after completing his first year of study, he asked James Honoré, head chef at The Farm, for a job.
“There are plenty of staff to work alongside,” James says of taking on John who, as a commis chef, does food preparation and basic cooking under the supervision of a chef de partie or section chef.
The Farm’s menu is constantly changing and takes in guests’ dietary requirements and preferences. As part of the culinary team, John and Eoin help prepare full-service breakfasts, morning teas, lunches, dinners and buffets. They can also work in the pro-shop on the Cape Kidnappers golf course.
From Cork, Eoin had always wanted to visit New Zealand, his mother’s homeland. He didn’t imagine living here when he came to visit family four years ago but he liked the country and eventually found work in a Napier café.
He worked around chefs in his next job with a catering business in Wellington and, liking working with food, he moved back to Napier to commence the EIT diploma programme in mid-2012.
Eoin started at The Farm as a kitchen-hand in November 2012 but returned to his studies some months later. Later a commis chef at the lodge, he was promoted to chef de partie at the start of summer.
“I find it quite exciting having to be on my toes,” he says. “It changes every day, every day is different really.”
James says The Farm is always wanting to take on students with the right attitude.
“I ask for the pick of the crop,” he says of EIT’s trainee and graduates chefs. “We can teach them pretty much everything else they need to know so long as they are keen.”