A man who has made chocolates fit for the Queen is now heading to Sri Lanka and India to showcase WITT’s hospitality courses.
Joachim Ogden, who has spent 17 years in the hospitality industry, is “amped” about his coming trip.
“I’m really excited about the trip and meeting everyone in India and Sri Lanka. It’s a great opportunity to showcase what we offer at WITT but also I hope to learn about cooking in each of the places we visit.”
Joachim is a chocolatier by profession and counts one of his career highlights as making a chocolate display for the Queen. At the time he was working at the Commonwealth Club in London.
“That was brilliant because I learnt skills I still use and teach today.”
He began his own chef training at the AUT University.
Then Joachim went on to work in various restaurants and hotels in Auckland, moved to hotels and resorts in Australia and then went further afield to London, where he broadened his culinary skills even more.
In July 2009, he joined WITT, partly attracted to Taranaki by his love of surfing.
Joachim teaches on the Diploma of Professional Cookery course, where his speciality is patisserie and working with chocolate.
Not surprisingly, his favourite food is high quality chocolate and, more precisely, Callebaut from Belgium.
He is also one of WITT’s In Season feature chefs, who appear in the Taranaki Daily News newspaper each fortnight.
“The students are the focus. We need their success, completion and retention. On the way, part of that journey, especially with the international students, is to make sure they have the pastoral care they need.”
Joachim says his team is extremely aware of how difficult it can be for students from a different country and culture to study in a new country and culture in New Zealand.
“It’s about talking and listening to students and in the class room ‘igniting the fire’ in students to learn so they can go on to succeed in whatever their future holds.”
And sometimes, he might even make them chocolates.
Follow Jo on his travels, see photos and enter his competition on our Facebook page.