Meet Anastasia, the first to complete commercial cookery apprenticeship!

Chef Ana at Nerang RSL Gold Coast

A passion for food and crafting ‘delicious dishes’ is what inspired Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s Anastasia Romans (Ana) to pursue a career within the kitchen, and last month
the budding chef ’s dreams became a reality, as she completed her full-time apprenticeship in Commercial Cookery.

As the first ever apprentice to complete the extensive course at Nerang RSL, Ana will be recognised at the upcoming International Women’s Day morning tea at the Club.

Ana first stepped foot into the Nerang RSL five years ago, as a School Based Trainee ready to study a Certificate III in Hospitality, but she soon realised that ‘the kitchen’ was calling her name and she couldn’t ignore her prevailing passion for food – so she made the switch to study  Certificate III in Commercial Cookery!

In addition to her one-day a week work place commitment at the club, Ana started picking up extra shifts in the kitchen and with her passion growing by the day – she took the leap as a
full-time apprentice in 2016.

The long hours of study and hard work has certainly paid off for Ana, and she’s ecstatic to have reached the special milestone while also feeling humbled by the support of the Nerang RSL.

‘After three years of study and work, I’m very happy to have completed my apprenticeship and its been great to have the support of Nerang RSL ever since stepping through the doors of the club five years ago,” she said.

“I love being part of a team which is genuinely interested in helping me progress my passion and achieve my goals. It has made for a very positive environment, and, a workplace that I was excited to come back to each shift.

“I feel very lucky to have been guided by Nerang RSL Head Chef, Jason Blond, who has played a large part in my journey at the club. Jason has been extremely supportive and I’ve been able to ask questions, gain insight and learn first-hand from an established chef who believes in my passion and has pushed me to chase my dreams.

“I’m very thankful for this opportunity and look forward to celebrating my apprenticeship with the team at the presentation morning that the club is putting on for me on International Women’s Day.”

Ana said she has enjoyed every moment of her apprenticeship, from the peaks to the challenges, and is excited for what the future holds.

“Whether learning about standards of cookery and hygiene to applying my learning from my book studies and implementing my skill set when working at the club, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience,” she said.

“What stood out to me was the ability to be hands on throughout my apprenticeship. Jason frequently asked me to come up with dishes and provide input into the menu which gave me the opportunity to learn how to make a range of new dishes and gain greater knowledge about different foods.

“My apprenticeship has reinforced my passion for food and cooking and it’s a fantastic feeling to know my hard work has paid off. This qualification has put me in good stead to progress my career, chase opportunities, continue learning and even open up doors to travel which is definitely on my bucket list.”

Nerang RSL Head Chef, Jason Blond, said he’s very humbled by Ana’s display of passion and dedication and is proud to see her accomplish the milestone.

“Ana’s become a part of the Nerang RSL family so it’s very rewarding to see her reach this milestone and I feel humbled to have played a part in guiding and teaching her throughout
her journey to completing her apprenticeship,” he said.

“Ana’s been able to get involved in many opportunities as part of her apprenticeship at Nerang RSL that other places often don’t offer. She’s been very proactive in creating dishes for our menu and providing input and suggestions across the club which is great to see.”

Having been in the industry for 29 years himself, Jason said it’s exciting to know there are budding chefs like Ana who want to learn and make their mark within the industry.

“A lot of apprentices often come and go, so it’s one thing to get individuals to start apprenticeships but another to see them complete it. It’s a tough industry with long hours so you need to be passionate, dedicated and motivated and throughout her apprenticeship, Ana has shown she’s the making of all these aspects,” he said.

“What makes the occasion even more special is that Ana is the first female apprentice through Nerang RSL to complete a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at our club, so we are very proud of her and look forward to putting on an appreciation morning and presentation to celebrate her achievement.”

Nerang RSL General Manager, Andrew McInnes, said the club has a focus on fostering the development of trainees and apprentices alike and is pleased to have Ana continue as part of the team.

“We put a lot of focus on culture and long-term vision at Nerang RSL and strive to put the time and effort into facilitating opportunities that help individuals who want to learn and pursue their passion,” he said.

“Nerang RSL is very proud of Ana and being one of the most successful apprentices to come through our club, I have no doubt she will continue to succeed, set an example and serve as an invaluable asset to Nerang RSL.”