The connections made through being part of a national culinary competition will serve Corowa's Tess Wilson well.
A trainee pastry chef at Melbourne artisanal frozen dessert store Glace, Wilson, 22, was chosen as one of 32 finalists in the Australia-wide Proud to be a Chef competition.
Originally she was assisting at a Proud to be a Chef function, as Glace's Christy Tania was a mentor.
I went there to set up and I was listening to it all and realised that I could actually enterTess Wilson
"I went there to set up and I was listening to it all and realised that I could actually enter," the trainee said.
Last month she and the other finalists took part in a four-day food adventure, being mentored by chefs, sampling different food experiences and visiting food inspired locations.
A final cook-off saw Wilson's caramelised white chocolate and coffee mousse with mandarin sorbet named best sweet.
The former Corowa High School student has long been passionate about food.
"I've always been baking, all the time, so I thought I might as well make a career out of it," she said.
Wilson left study at William Anglis Institute to join Glace, feeling it would be more hands-on.
"And I'm so glad that I've done it because I've learned so, so much already and I've been there less than a year, it all just fell in place really," she said.
"I would like to come back to the Border eventually, I've always wanted to open up my own business there one day."
IN OTHER NEWS:
What's your favourite autumn dish? Blue cheese and chicken pasta.
What's your favourite season? Winter, working in a pastry kitchen is NOT ideal in the hotter months.
What are the staples in your pantry now? I never stick to things for a long time so this is constantly changing, at the moment it's coconut oil.
What is your earliest cooking memory? Cooking lunch for the shearers with my nan and siblings on the farm.
Which ingredients do you grow yourself? I just started a herb garden with thyme, chilli, basil, mint and oregano but am pretty sure half have died already, not my strong point!
Which six people would you invite to dinner? Christy Tania, Katherine Sabbath, Amaury Guichon, Cedric Grolet, Karlie Kloss and Mum.
What is your favourite foodie ritual? Sucker for a photo before we eat
What are you bingeing on TV? If anything. Brooklyn 99
What did you have for dinner last night? Oliver's on the trek back to Melbourne.
What are you drinking at the moment? Always coffee.
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