Todd: OK, Rebecca we’re talking about working in a restaurant. Now you became a chef. Can you talk about the process of becoming a chef? What do you do to get a job in a kitchen?
Rebecca: Well, there’s lots of different ways, but the most common way is to become an apprentice which means you go to the kitchen and work at the bottom level doing the basic chopping – boring jobs – for maybe two or three years, and then one day a week you go to school, a cooking school. Your employer pays for you to go to the school. You do get paid by your employer but it’s a really small wage, so, yeah. Otherwise, you can start at the bottom, like a dishwasher, and actually Australia’s most famous chef started that way. He just was a dishwasher and he slowly climbed up the ladder, so you can do it that way as well.
Todd: So what about you? Did you go to cooking school?
Rebecca: Yeah, I did, but actually I dropped out after awhile, so I did that for about a year but to be honest I think you get more experience in a kitchen. Sometimes the stuff they teach you at school is a little bit old-fashioned.
Todd: How much actually of what you learn do you just learn on yourself, as just a creative process? Like how much do you think you learn by watching others and how much do you learn on your own, using your own creativity?
Rebecca: I think both are really important. Actually, I learned a lot from my mother. When I was a kid, I used to watch her cooking all the time, and it wasn’t until I grew up that I realized how much I understood about cooking just from seeing what she did in the kitchen, but also talking about how to do things with your colleagues I think is really important.
Todd: Now, I’m curious, you know how to cook, and everybody knows you know how to cook – family members and friends – so how… do you like to actually cook for family members and friends or is cooking a job that when you go home, you prefer not to cook for other people because it’s like bringing your work home?
Rebecca: Well, I know some chefs that have nothing in their fridge and they hate cooking at home, but I’m not like that. I really love cooking for people. It’s really the nicest thing you can do for someone is to give them a lovely meal. The sad thing is actually that no one will ever cook for me, because they’re too scared. They always apologize before I even have a chance to eat it. “Oh, it’s going to be terrible. Oh, you’re a cook. I’m sorry.” But actually I love food being cooked for me. I wish people would do it more.
Todd: OK. That’s funny. Thanks Rebecca.