Thu 8 Mar 2018

Chelsea heads south

Chelsea Bishop is leaving town on Saturday.

The former Spotswood College student, a New Plymouth resident all her life, is heading to Wellington to start work on Monday at The Fermentery on the corner of Ghuznee and, appropriately, Taranaki St.

Chelsea (Taranaki iwi) knows exactly what she wants to do with her career, having completed Cookery courses at level 3 and 4 at WITT – but it has been a winding road to get there.

When she first enrolled at WITT in 2011 she had already been working on a farm and duly took a Certificate in Tertiary Studies course followed by an agricultural paper.

“I ended up not liking the isolation on the farm, so I started additional work in a factory making children’s toys. But I still felt isolated – so I enrolled in a front of house course at WITT – I wanted to learn how to make coffee!”

She found work in a cafe and enrolled in Food and Beverage and Cookery courses.

From there, Chelsea was introduced to the WITT kitchens, and that is where she felt most at home.

Maori and Pasifika Trades Training programme coordinator Sandra Lichtwark and WITT’s Kaitakawaenga, Maori and Pasifika Support Coordinator, Allana Prestney, are those celebrating Chelsea’s success.

Chelsea was unaware of the level of support available at WITT but was able to tap into it.

MPTT scholarships assisted her through the two Cookery courses and summer school.

“WITT has done so much to help me.

“I started the Level 4 Cookery course, but I became very anxious about how I would complete it. I was not in a good headspace at all.

“I was worried I would not finish, took some time off and when I came back I was freaking out.”

Thankfully, one of the best and most repeated pieces of advice she received came from a former WITT student.

“My aunty kept telling me: see whaea for help – so I did.”

Chelsea said learning not to be afraid to ask for help or ask questions was vital for her.

She talked regularly with tutors, Sandra Lichtwark and Allana Prestney and they rebuilt her confidence and helped with her time management.

 “Chelsea has always been a positive student and yes there were some struggles, but like any other student, Chelsea sorted the support that she needed. I wish Chelsea all the best for the future and she knows she can still contact me anytime,” Sandra Lichtwark said.

The new young chef heads to Wellington with a love of cooking meat and making bread, but with no particular cuisine as a favourite.

“But I do like to experiment,” she says