Vicki’s journey started in 2017, when she began her study with WelTec in the level 3 Bakery programme. Realising her passion for hospitality, Vicki continued her study with the level 4 Bakery programme, and finally the Hospitality Management programme in 2019. She studied under tutor Robert Bock who, to this day, continues to be her mentor and friend. She loved learning all of his tips and tricks, like how to roll out pastry by putting your body weight on it – in fact she still refers to her WelTec notes when she’s working out.
Before Vicki decided to study at WelTec, she studied Criminology and Law at Vic. She graduated, and then halfway through a Law degree, she realised she’d prefer baking as a career. After studying at Vic, she worked as a library assistant and a music teacher. Then one day she saw the Level 3 Baking course advertised on Instagram and she left her job and went back to school! Baking has always been her passion, and the WelTec Baking programme let her explore her passion for food and baking while giving her a technical foundation in a supportive learning foundation that would eventually help her get a job upon graduation. Studying at WelTec gave her the opportunity to dip her toe in the deep waters of Hospitality before jumping straight into a job.
Vicki loves being a chef, and particularly a pastry chef, because no two days are the same. From creating private dinners at Government House or working the line at Jano Bistro, Vicki is learning and developing her skills with each shift. What she loves the most is interacting with customers who love her food. Never one to rest, she also runs her own side hustle making cakes.
Vicki says her WelTec classes were small, so she was able to work in groups and pairs, making strong connections with her classmates. The examination part of the programme really helped Vicki and her classmates push themselves to grow as students and professionals. During her courses, she was able to get a lot of industry experience. She helped run a café on campus, learned how to make chocolate from bean to bar at Baron Hasselhof’s in Berhamphore, assist Ganesh Khedekar, an Auckland pastry chef who was in the NZ Culinary Olympics, with his chocolate showpiece during the Chocolate Festival, which later led to gaining work experience in Auckland with him, and including with ‘Giapo’, and at Logan Brown - all thanks to her connections through WelTec. With all of this experience under her belt, Vicki plans to one day open a dessert bar named after her grandmother. Her advice for aspiring chefs is to use your time in the kitchen to make mistakes. “Every failure is an opportunity to do better next time.”