Former NZMA student leads the way

In a special masterclass event at NZMA Sylvia Park campus, former NZMA student Dani Chen highlighted her agility and creativity in the kitchen. Creating a seafood delight, Chen illustrated the skills and techniques required, and enlisted the assistance of some current Level 5 Cookery students.

Graduating from NZMA in 2016 with a Diploma in Professional Cooking level 5, Chen is now a Chef de Partie at Bellota by Peter Gordon at SKYCITY Auckland, where she continues to embrace new opportunities and experiences, of which this masterclass at NZMA is one.

Supporting Chen were the SKYCITY team, including Marty Kindleysides, the executive chef for SKYCITY’s Signature Restaurants. Kindleysides spoke to students about the potential opportunities that cookery programmes can lead to such as starting in an entry level position like a pantry hand whilst students are still studying. This gives students a hands-on experience in all of the different SKYCITY kitchens, builds relationships with the different chefs, and then being considered first and foremost for commis chef roles when they graduate. From there anything is possible as development and progression is there for those who show passion, drive and determination.