Changing his direction of study provided an AHCTS level 4 cookery graduate with a career pathway that he says was the best decision he ever made.
Sumit Sharma Bral completed his professional cookery training in 2018 and it enabled him to progress from working as a part-time kitchen hand to becoming a full-time chef.
When Sumit came to New Zealand from India he was studying business, but when he transferred to Auckland Hotel and Chefs Training School (AHCTS) he realised how much he enjoyed culinary art.
“At AHCTS the cookery course built my confidence and the training wasn’t so hard for me because of the support given to me by the chef tutors and at the restaurant where I worked,” says Sumit.
In New Zealand, people with a student visa can usually work up to 20 hours per week and Sumit had a kitchen-hand job at the prestigious Ponsonby restaurant, ParisButter.
“Understanding cookery takes time and I enjoy enhancing my skill level.”
Once Sumit was studying New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4 at AHCTS, the chefs at ParisButter recognised his talent and he was given opportunities to develop his culinary skills.
The creative restaurant has a French influence and focuses on using quality New Zealand ingredients.
Sumit has gained experience in many different areas in the kitchen, commencing as a demi-chef de partie and progressing to chef de partie.
He has worked as the pastry chef and more recently on the pan, cooking meats and preparing sauces.
“Learning cookery was the best decision I ever made. It has to be your passion to really drive you,” Sumit says.
Every day he receives feedback from diners and an important culture at ParisButter is for the chefs to chat with customers about the dishes they have prepared.
The direct contact with customers requires confidence – something Sumit gained when studying at AHCTS.
“If I had not come to AHCTS I definitely wouldn’t have increased my skill level. Studying at AHCTS has helped me a lot.”