Graduate Profile

Karan Randhawa - Demi-Chef
John Salisbury (Employer)

John Salisbury (Employer)

Karan Randhawa - Cookery

Demi-Chef de Partie, The Quay

“I’m working as Demi-Chef de Partie at The Quay in the Town Basin. It is in Cuisine Magazine’s top 100 New Zealand restaurants and one of only two in Northland on that list. It is number one in desserts – and I love making desserts. My tutor told me about this place and I started as a kitchen hand for a month when I was still studying. In that time I was also helping the chefs with prep work, and then I was offered full time work as Commis Chef once I finished my study.”

“Everything from my NorthTec training is relevant here. I loved the course emphasis on a mix of cultures and I was able to research food from my own Indian culture. We got to research then create our own dish, practise and trial it, and if it was good it went on the hospitality service menu. We had practical experience catering for events that involved team work preparing, making, and plating the dishes.”

“The tutors also encouraged us to enter competitions like the Live Dessert competition where we had 60 minutes to make a dessert. Our final level 5 assessment involved three days of making and presenting food, and I was later selected as the representative for the NZQA course assessment interviews.”

“The NorthTec training was exactly what I needed for my work here. I am familiar with the processes and now my confidence has grown a lot. I’ve already created a new dessert that has been added to The Quay’s menu. I love the work here and I’m now starting to explore other areas of the kitchen including making entrees.”


Employer of Karan Randhawa

John Salisbury - Head Chef at The Quay

“At a busy time of year here Karan came in with her resume. She had nearly finished her level 5 training and was clear about her capabilities and her study schedule. Practical skills count a lot here so in a working trial we watch for skills in food prep and food handling and it was clear Karan knew what she was doing.”

“We offered her a job part-time while she finished her study and she was particularly keen on working with pastry and desserts. The theoretical training from her NorthTec course meant Karan had an understanding of the processes behind cooking and why we do what we do, so it means I am confident to leave her to get on with her work without having to check over her shoulder. When Karan finished her training we offered her a job full time as Commis Chef and she has now moved up to becoming a Demi-Chef de Partie.”

“We haven’t employed someone from NorthTec before but in the future it will be a good port of call for us. We now have contact with one of the tutors there and we can let him know if we have opportunities that may suit a graduate.”


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