Awardee chef targets café

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Kirsten Bainbridge aims to become a chef par excellence. She will make a career of producing cuisine rich in every conceivable colour, texture, vibrancy of taste, and degree of delicacy.

A vocational trainee at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic College, the Alice Springs 16-year-old is the proud recipient of a newly conferred NT Board of Studies award.

The Certificate of Merit reflects her “outstanding achievement in Year 11”, and comes as she embarks on a school-based apprenticeship as a chef.

“My stepdad is a chef, and when I became interested in cookery he helped my passion grow,” she said.

“During my first [kitchen operations] certificate, all of us would make something new and then laugh at how bad we were at it.

“But cookery allows me to try new things and be creative, not only with presentation but with the flavours used.

“And people eat with their eyes, so I particularly enjoy exhibiting food in the most visually enticing way.”

She learned from qualified chefs during work placements at the Alice Springs Convention Centre, Lasseters Hotel Casino, and the Desert Lantern Restaurant.

Charles Darwin University added to her restaurant experience, but also introduced Kirsten to avenues for further study.

“At [CDU] I was given the opportunity to learn new cooking techniques and apply them in a real restaurant situation,” she said.

“And they revealed different courses to help me become the owner and head chef at an east coast café — my ultimate goal.

“I have shown great dedication to my course, mastered an array of skills, and I will always aspire to perfect my artistry as a chef.

“My aim is to create meals that are a festival of taste.”

Kirsten has two certificates to complete as postgraduate qualifications.

Kirsten Bainbridge (left) receives her award with vocational trainee Chloe Sutton on 4 February at DoubleTree by Hilton, Alice Springs.
Kirsten Bainbridge (left) receives her award with vocational trainee Chloe Sutton on 4 February at DoubleTree by Hilton, Alice Springs.

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