Sydney Access

Intercontinental, Sydney

Seven Stars

It was five stars plus two this week for the Intercontinental hotel in the heart of Sydney. Briana Barford and Julia Tang added more than a sparkle to the Intercontinental kitchens as they took on their five-day Sydney Access placement at this top Sydney hotel. ‘We are very proud to be part of the Sydney Access program’ says Johanna Mueller from HR, ‘it is a wonderful opportunity for the students but it’s a great opportunity for us too.’

Well prepared

The girls are studying Hospitality Certificate ll as part of their HSC and are currently in Year 12. ‘I think the course at school has prepared me well,’ says Briana, a student at Heathcote High School, ‘but there is nothing like the real thing, and this is awesome.’ Julia, who attends Fairvale High School, enjoys the Hospitality course too and was excited to get a Sydney Access placement where she could apply the skills and knowledge learned at school. No one knows better than Executive Chef, Tamas Pamer, who has come up through the ranks to be at the top of his profession. ‘This is a good opportunity for the students to face real challenges. We have over 5,000 different types of produce going through these kitchens.’

Ingredients for success

‘Everything is happy on Master Chef,’ says Tamas, ‘but it is hard, physical work and you need to be fit in mind and body.’ He believes that being a successful chef is accepting a whole lifestyle. Offering the girls some advice for the future, he adds, ‘be ready, move around, travel to different countries. Don’t stick to one spot.’ These ingredients for success have worked for Tamas, who is very young to be in the position of Executive Chef at a leading hotel. He has certainly moved the students around already. ‘They have been in the cold kitchen, on the hot food side, in the pastry kitchen and done some plating up.’ He assures us that the students will have many more experiences by the end of the placement.

Relaxed on the first day

Having nerves is normal on your first day but they won’t last long at the Intercontinental. ‘The people are lovely to work with. They are relaxed and very calm,’ says Briana. ‘I felt very welcome’, adds Julia, ‘as the people are so welcoming here.’ With broad smiles, it was clear the students appreciated their opportunity to work with such a wonderful team, and as Johanna from HR says, ‘Once you have your foot in the door it opens opportunities for you.’ ‘Thank you Intercontinental’, from two shining Sydney Access stars.