If you thought the pressure in the MasterChef kitchen was intense, spare a thought for Chisholm student Laura Skvor. In January, she and Georgie Bass Café and Cooking School head chef Michael Cole represented Australia over two gruelling days of competition at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France.
Described as the Olympics of cookery, the biennial competition takes place after selection events around the world. At the end of these, 24 of the most promising chefs in the world are chosen to represent their countries in the final, cooking in an open culinary theatre where fully equipped kitchens are lined up side by side before the judging panel, the media and an audience of 1000 people. Laura, as commis chef, and head chef Michael finished in a creditable 14th place.
Laura, who graduated from Chisholm’s Rosebud campus in 2018 with a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery, said she spent two years and thousands of hours preparing for the Bocuse d’Or, training daily in Chisholm’s Frankston kitchens where she and Michael could replicate the kitchen environment they would face in Lyon. “It’s been my full-time focus and I’ve had to juggle my studies at Chisholm and social life around it. This competition has catapulted me into the most prestigious gastronomy competition in the world.”
Laura is staying in France and hopes to find work in a three-hat kitchen, with her ultimate goal to one day have her own restaurant.
Chisholm Institute’s culinary teacher Michael Simmons, who taught Laura and mentored Team Australia at the Bocuse d’Or, said: “Laura has been an amazing commercial cookery student; her passion and her desire to learn more has made it a real pleasure to teach her. She has worked so hard to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”