"Often you are the only female in the kitchen. It is a tough industry…either you love it or you hate it."
Chefs can write cookbooks and food columns, cater, consult, or start their own restaurants.
Lisa Gardin is an apprentice chef in her first year at the Wedgewood Hotel. Her duties include working at the pastry station preparing desserts. She also makes complimentary cookies for the hotel rooms and biscotti for the cappuccino bars. For the afternoon tea service between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm she prepares seven different petit fours. For dinner, she makes dessert soufflés.
Lisa found her interest in cooking when she took part in a student co-op program in Grade 11. After completing the program, the chef hired her. Her apprenticeship involves taking college courses for one month each year at Vancouver Community College. After about six years of experience, Lisa can write the Canadian Red Seal chef's exam, which will earn her Red Seal papers.
Lisa admits that the food industry is not easy to be in - you either love it or hate it! She currently has a great chef, but often finds herself as the only female in the kitchen.
A top chef can make between $50,000 to $100,000, but a first year apprentice makes about $10 per hour. There are various food industry associations and some working environments are unionized. Lisa is paid for 40 hours of work, but she often works 60.
Did you know? Cheesecake was served to the first Olympic athletes in Greece as long ago as 776 BC.
Once Lisa completes her apprenticeship, she plans to travel throughout Europe. Ultimately, she would like to open her own restaurant - every chef's dream!
Passion, is an essential ingredient in her career, says Apprentice Chef Lisa Gardin.
As a young girl, Lisa spent many hours in the family kitchen, helping make everything from pot roast to candy suckers. Her interest in a culinary career was confirmed when she took part in a high school co-op program at a hotel. She did so well, the hotel hired her as an apprentice!
Lisa knows that her career requires a lot of care to deliver only the best…
She will sometimes devote up to three hours just to prepare traditional lemon tarts!
Education: Vancouver Community College
Hobbies: Cake decorating, reading cookbooks, playing pool, watching movies