A CHILDHOOD love of cooking has become a life-long passion for Alyssa Heard, who was last week named Victorian Apprentice of the Year after finishing her apprenticeship through Federation University TAFE and Chalambar Golf Club.
The Ararat woman, 21, started cooking as a child and began working casually as a waitress at the golf club as a teenager before the head chef offered her a commercial cookery apprenticeship.
Having finished her apprenticeship last year, Alyssa decided to continue her studies and has taken on a patisserie course to sharpen her baking skills.
“I’ve always baked cakes, and when I started my apprenticeship I was making some cakes from home,” she said.
“I started putting up photos of the cakes on Facebook and started getting strangers asking me to make cakes for them, so I thought maybe I should study that more.”
Alyssa works at Chalambar Golf Club with regular visits to Ballarat for her training at Fed Uni TAFE and has ambitions to work overseas once she has paid off the house she built last year.
Her immediate travel plans are a little closer to home, heading to Sydney for a week in November to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards.
“We are so excited to have had the opportunity to work with Alyssa, she has been a wonderful employee, a real team player and has a promising future ahead of her,” her manager Tim Cronin, of Chalambar Golf Club, said.
As well as the Victorian Apprentice of the Year title, Alyssa also took out the People’s Choice Award.
“I am so excited and honoured to accept the Apprentice of the Year Award and to have taken out the people’s choice award as well is amazing,” Alyssa said.
“I have been working in hospitality since I was 15 and for some time my dream has been to be a chef.”