Karratha student tastes success at local cafe

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
Fiorita Deli owners Bart Parsons and Lara Ducie with head chef Nick Woolard and apprentice Curtis Graham.
Camera IconFiorita Deli owners Bart Parsons and Lara Ducie with head chef Nick Woolard and apprentice Curtis Graham. Credit: Pilbara News, Tom Zaunmayr.

An aspiring Karratha-based apprentice is looking at chasing his food dream after gaining a first-year apprenticeship at a local eatery.

Curtis Graham is undertaking the first year of his hospitality apprenticeship under the guidance of Fiorita Deli’s head chef Nick Woolard.

Mr Graham said finding an apprenticeship locally had been a welcome surprise.

“I basically got into this through my mum,” he said.

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“ I have grown up around a kitchen and always looked up to her.

“What I was told originally was you had to go through so much, you couldn’t do theory here so it didn’t seem appealing to go through all that trouble.

“I needed this straight away so I could get on with my life.”

VideoThere has been a massive decrease in the number of final year bricklaying and blocklaying apprentices.

Blanche Bar group manager Lara Ducie said the changing demographic of Karratha had been a boon for tourism and hospitality.

“We have relied on 457 visa and 186 immigration chefs, which has been good, but we do want to attract Australian chefs,” she said.

“Trying to attract that sort of person who is keen and likes to live regionally has proven very difficult.

“So having our first apprentice, which we are really proud of, is something we have always wanted to do.”

Mr Woolard said having the opportunity to impart wisdom to aspiring chefs was rewarding.

“To be in hospitality you need to want to make people happy, you need to be proud of what you create and to want to make people smile,” he said.

Mr Woolard said more could be done to encourage more people to take up hospitality apprenticeships.

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