Career upskilling: from food to product development chef

Tuesday, 16 April, 2024

Career upskilling: from food to product development chef

Food technology is an emerging industry that can provide lucrative and fulfilling career options for people wanting to combine a love of food with an interest in science.

There is a growing need for people with all manner of skills to develop food products that cater to the evolving needs of consumers, including catering to allergies and further developing plant-based foods.

Former chef Zach Baudinet decided to take his years of restaurant kitchen experience and combine it with a dash of science mixed in with some hands-on skills to change careers and become a product development chef.

Baudinet enrolled in the Certificate IV Food Science and Technology course at TAFE NSW. The food science facilities at the Ultimo campus mirror the industry using simulated food processing, sensory testing and food analysis in its food microbiology laboratories.

“Product development in pre-packaged meals is an exciting and growing industry. I started my product development journey with Woolworths, moving from being a chef to in-house product development, and I’m now working with Salad Servers in Chatswood.

“We create the recipes, source the ingredients and test how to take one kilogram of a meal and make 1000 kilograms without ruining the flavour and nutrients. It’s a satisfying and fast-paced job with no two days being the same.

“I get to use my skills from being a chef and apply them strategically to problem solve and continuously innovate,” Baudinet said.

TAFE NSW teacher Jeanette Ramos said TAFE NSW prepares graduates to walk out of the classroom and onto the job with practical skills.

“The food sector continues to evolve and grow. Food safety auditing is another emerging area where demand is increasing for people with the right skills and qualifications.

“Our food science facilities at the Ultimo campus mirror the industry in our simulated food processing, sensory testing, food analysis and food microbiology laboratories.  Many of the required skills are embedded in our Certificate IV Food Science and Technology course — the same course Mr Baudinet enrolled in,” Ramos said.

Image credit: Zach Baudinet.

Originally published here.

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