Hospitality is in the blood of the top cookery level 4 graduate from Auckland’s specialist vocational tertiary college for aspiring chefs.
Milika Gasparetti was named student of the year at the Auckland Hotel and Chefs Training School (AHCTS) graduation ceremony, in recognition of her outstanding commitment to her studies.
The 23-year-old completed 18 months of study at AHCTS to complement her extensive hands-on experience gained while growing up in the hospitality industry.
Introduced to restaurants and catering by her mother and aunt, Gasparetti has worked front of house and in the kitchen for as long as she can remember and loves it. Like most cookery students, Gasparetti juggled study with work and she says experience at Auckland restaurants such as Coco’s Cantina and Café Hanoi was brilliant. “Study helped with the theory and added to the instinctive skills I had,” she says.
Her AHCTS tutor, Alex Swan says Gasparetti is a memorable student because she has a great attitude, applies herself and when she asked to do something, she gets it done and does it well.
“Milika’s theory work was outstanding and I often use it with students as a benchmark for them to aim for. She was outstanding because she makes life easier for people, which is definitely sort after by any employer.”
Not long out of cookery school, Gasparetti is taking on the challenge of head chef at a new Karangahape Road restaurant, Madame George. Italian cuisine is her forte and in the future Gasparetti aims to open her own restaurant serving food with that “how Mama made it” flair.
She enrolled at AHCTS in 2013 to complete her cookery level 3 course and co-won the top student award on completion. After a brief break Gasparetti finished her level 4 studies in 2015.
The top 2015 AHCTS cookery level 2 graduate was Nicholas (Nick) Mountain. The teenager was recognised for his diligence, commitment and ability to manage study with his ballroom dancing championships. When Mountain isn’t cooking he is busy practicing for his next dance competition and his tutor, Paul Chivers says “the potential is unlimited for Nick”. Mountain works in the kitchen at Garrison Public House at Sylvia Park, Auckland.