From Eudunda, via StPatsTech to New York

Fino-2Chefs (Demo)

StPatsTech Class of 2013 Food & Hospitality graduate, Sarah Voigt, is headed for the Big Apple!  A fourth year apprentice chef at Fino Seppeltsfield, Sarah is about to undertake a two week work experience of a lifetime at one of the world’s top restaurants working under the direction of one of the world’s best known chefs.

From the rural town of Eudunda, Sarah (pictured above left) attended St Patrick’s Technical College in 2012/13.  Her skill, passion and dedication to the industry was quickly recognised by the team at the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, Rowland Flat, who signed her as an apprentice chef at the end of Year 11. Sarah completed Year 12 in a School-based Apprenticeship working at the acclaimed Jacob’s Restaurant where her talent was not only recognised by her employers at Hospitality Group Training, but also by the judging panel for the Group Training Australia (SA) Awards who named Sarah the School-based Apprentice of the Year for 2014.

Continuing to strive for excellence and broaden her experience Sarah moved to Fino at Seppeltsfield during the middle stages of her apprenticeship to work with well-known chefs David Swain (owner / executive chef) and Sam Smith (head chef).

Now approaching the end of her four year apprenticeship, next month Sarah is headed for the renowned restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York to work under globally acclaimed head chef, Dan Barber.

Barber is author of the best-selling book on ethical and delicious eating, The Third Plate. He is known for blurring the line between the dining experience and the educational, bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table. He has received multiple awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and the USA’s Outstanding Chef (2009). In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. He has been appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, NY
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, NY

Sarah’s workplace during August, Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns, is set on a 35 acre farm in Sleepy Hollow, New York, about one hour north of Manhattan. The restaurant, ranked #49 in the world, specialises in degustation dining where all produce used is grown on the farm. It is known for providing guests with a list of ingredients rather than a menu as part of the dining experience.

Sarah will undoubtedly enjoy the opportunity to immerse herself in the fast-pace, high-living atmosphere New York has to offer whilst gaining invaluable knowledge and experience from the world’s very best. As the holder of a US passport, Sarah’s goal is to secure work in America – hopefully at one of the Blue Hill restaurants at Stone Barns or Greenwich Village, NY.

Sarah is a wonderful role model and has returned to StPatsTech on a number of occasions as a guest speaker to highlight the possibilities and opportunities to current Food & Hospitality students.

Maddie with Fino Owner / Executive Chef, David Swain.
Year 11 School-based Apprentice, Maddie, with Fino Owner / Executive Chef, David Swain.

Following in Sarah’s footsteps and filling the gap left behind at Fino while she is in New York, David and his team at Seppeltsfield has engaged another StPatsTech Food & Hospitality student, 16 year-old Madison Ter Bogt, as their newest apprentice.

Maddie, currently in Year 11, is another young, aspiring chef with a bright future ahead of her and one to watch out for.

The great relationship StPatsTech has established with Fino, like that with many employers in the Barossa region who offer work experience and apprenticeship opportunities, has helped many students move on to great careers in their chosen trades. These opportunities are not limited to Food & Hospitality, but are also there in Hair & Beauty, Automotive, Construction, Electrotechnology, Engineering and Plumbing.

Not only are the College’s industry ties in the Barossa growing, there is an increasing number of students from the region attending St Patrick’s Technical College. The College is continually monitoring industry employment trends and endeavours to meet these needs with pathways for young people across northern Adelaide and surrounding regions.

– Story by Margaret Makara & Patrick Kelly