Interview with Monica Cheesman
You have recently passed the City & Guilds Diploma in Patisserie, what would you say were your highlights?
When I was little I remember seeing my mum making a pound cake; that was pretty much what she knew how to make and when I grew up I became the one who would make that cake, when I moved to New Zealand I saw so many people making brownies, and cakes for their own kids, different types of cakes; but it was mostly a wish to learn because we could not buy many ingredients as we were on low income and recently married.
Having received the opportunity to study I can’t really pinpoint just one moment that was a highlight because there were too many to choose from. So much of it was new for me: experimenting with new desserts, breads and sauces, making soufflé, and making an opera cake! 3 years ago these were only daydreams, but now I have lived it. This course made it a possibility.
What was your favorite recipe to learn?
I loved a few but the choux paste – it was definitely an achievement.
What did you know about International Culinary Studio prior to starting your course/where did you hear about us?
I had not heard about it before, I did not know there were online culinary courses. I heard about about International Culinary Studio through Food Magazine.
How long did this course take you?
It took me a year and a half to complete the course. (due to unfortunate mis-scheduling of my final exam)
What did you enjoy most about studying online?
As I am a mother of 3, having the privilege to stay at home and still being able to study – I was very happy about that. Not having to organize childcare for the kids and be able to look after them at home while fulfilling my dream was very nice.
Why did you choose an online course over a face to face class environment?
For the convenience of being a mum; having to go to the college would have been difficult for me.
What was your favorite aspect of the course?
It was easy to follow and study, and I could work at my own pace.
How did you find your industry placement?
It was a bit challenging at first because not everyone want to teach, but the experience taught me a lot, how to keep things fresh and serve the best for customers.
How was your experience working in a commercial kitchen?
It was really good to be able to practice what I was learning.
What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was the final exam, especially the second practical day of exams; it was definitely a big challenge for me, I have never done something so stressful. Or that I was more proud of.
What was something you didn’t expect?
I did not expect to have to study so long to do the final exam.
Where to from here – What are your culinary plans going forward?
I want to learn more about cake decoration, and sugar craft I would love to start pursuing this new career and slowly starting to open my own business from home. Later on when kids are older I would love to own my own little shop – everything in the right time though.
Would you recommend the International Culinary Studio and why?
I would definitely recommend international Culinary Studio, for the incredible accessibly, the prompt answers when in doubt of something and very clear teaching. I am so pleased International Culinary Studio enabled me to achieve a higher qualification, such as a diploma largely through learning in my own home.
Graduate for the Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking (Patisserie)