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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

2 mins ago

Ethyn is responsible for the creation of desserts.

EIT hospitality graduates Ethyn Georgetti-Brown and Ti-Keala Myers recently landed their dream jobs at Black Barn Bistro in Havelock North.

Ethyn completed a NZ Certificate in Bakery (level 4) followed by a NZ Diploma in Cookery Patisserie (level 5), and won the Top Student award both years. In December, he took on the role as pastry chef at Black Barn Bistro. Ti-Keala recently joined the team after finishing her level 4 Certificate in Cookery.

Ethyn already knew at a very young age that he wanted to enter the culinary world. His studies were smooth sailing. “It was pretty stress-free. I just loved to experiment with ingredients, combine science and cooking, and create beautiful dishes.” Work is busy, and Ethyn is on a steep learning curve working alongside executive chef and creative powerhouse Regnar Christensen.

Regnar took over the kitchen operations after moving from Auckland back home to Hawke’s Bay just before Christmas. The award-winning chef stresses that there are plenty of opportunities for people like Ethyn and Ti-Keala. “A cookery qualification can take you anywhere, and it doesn’t have to be fine dining. There are many different avenues, from being a private chef on a superyacht to opening a small niche-business.”

Ti-Keala shows how to plate up a raw fish entrée.

Unlike Ethyn, Ti-Keala had to overcome a few challenges before deciding to put all her eggs in one basket. Getting a qualification was life-changing, she says. Ti-Keala started her journey with a certificate in retail. Since she always had flair for cooking, continued with the certificate in Food & Beverage and then moved on to the level 4 cookery certificate. “Our tutor Courtney was awesome. She was always there to help, and I felt that someone finally believed in me. Working in a kitchen, the fast pace, and the hands-on learning really suited me.” The mother-of-three (12, 8, and 7 years old) also received a Te Ara o Tākitimu Scholarship which supports Māori and Pasifika people into trade training programmes. The scholarship not only paid for her fees but also provided pastoral support. Ti-Keala says that the tutors gave her not only motivation but helped her restore her self-esteem.

Ti-Keala had set her sights on fine dining but was way too nervous to approach Black Barn. That’s when EIT work broker Gill Taylor’s networks came into play. Gill organised an interview, and everything just fitted like a glove, as Ti-Keala puts it. “The team is awesome, and we get well looked after.”

Ethyn, general manager Felix Bijl, executive chef Regnar Christensen, and Ti-Keala.

General manager Felix Bijl knows that good staff is hard to find. He says the industry is fiercely competitive for talented and passionate employees. Felix studied a tourism degree in Holland and travelled the world before dropping anchor in New Zealand. “Unlike in Europe, where jobs in tourism and hospitality are seen as a serious profession for career-minded people, New Zealand still needs to catch up with this idea. Working in hospitality and tourism is incredibly exciting and rewarding. The world is your oyster.”

Being able to work anywhere in the world, was also a big drawcard for Ethyn. He will eventually venture overseas to work in Australia and Europe. Ti-Keala has just begun the level 5 part-time Diploma in Cookery (level 5). Her “ten-year goal” is to open her own café serving natural and healthy food and reconnect with traditional Māori ingredients.