A WorldSkills win has taken Sarah Simpson’s love of cooking to new heights.
The De La Salle Catholic Senior College Cronulla Year 11 Hospitality student placed first in the southern region Catholic inter-school WorldSkills competition. The competition aims to shine a light on the value of a skills-based career. Sarah said she was shocked to have won, but felt extremely privileged and excited to have had the opportunity to compete.
“I am so grateful to my hospitality teacher, for believing in me and choosing me to compete in this competition,” she said. “I feel that a new door has now been opened for me regarding my future, enabling me to pursue a career in hospitality.”
Sarah said the competition drew on students’ organisational skills, knowledge of Workplace Health and Safety, how to perform precision cuts such as jardinière for carrots and turning for potatoes, and creativity for presentation. It required participants to multi-task to prepare two serves of each course in time. This included a Caesar Salad for entrée, Stuffed Chicken Supreme with Fresh Seasonal Vegetables for main, and Poached Pears with Crème Anglaise for dessert.
“The most challenging thing about the competition would have to be executing three meals to timeframes, under pressure,” Sarah said. “I didn’t think I’d complete all of the components, for all the dishes in time, but somehow I managed to.”
Sarah said she has always had a passion for cooking. “Ever since I was a little girl I would bake cakes with my mum and watch her cook,” she said. “We enjoy watching cooking shows such as Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules.
“This competition has given me a buzz and the confidence to think that cooking professionally may just be the right career path for me. It’s both rewarding and satisfying to create a meal that people enjoy.”