After almost four decades in the industry, Matthew Hansen knows his way around a commercial kitchen. His love of food and wine, and their synergy brought him to teaching.
Matthew started out as a chef back in 1982 at London's Dorchester Hotel. Here he developed a passion for wine and the importance of its integration with a menu. However, Matthew eventually gravitated toward teaching his trade. It was one of Matthew's own teachers that sparked his interest in teaching, “I had a very good teacher when I was an apprentice and he was an exceptional storyteller. As a student, I just didn't want him to stop talking and I found him very interesting. I thought this may be the profession for me. This is how I teach now, through practice of course, but storytelling and student connection is very important.”
As well as teaching, Matthew runs the very successful Melbourne-based Fine Wine Appreciation. So how does he balance the two? “It is a challenge trying to balance it all but I think if you want to teach successfully, you have to be in industry. Otherwise, you'll fall behind because it's always changing. New dishes, new concepts, new formats.”
Successful Students, Successful Career
Interaction with students is one of the main reasons that Matthew loves teaching. “I bring them through their training and teach them essential skills that they can take into the workplace. If I'm eating out or travelling around and I come across a student who I taught five or six years ago, seeing them achieving success is very gratifying.
Communication is one of the key qualities that students need for a career in commercial cookery. "It's very fast-paced. You are on the go constantly and you’re communicating with people at every stage. Students need to be able to focus on the job at hand and let others know what is happening at the same time,” Matthew says.
Matthew believes that there couldn’t be a better place to work as a chef than Melbourne. “Melbourne and Victoria have some of the best produce and establishments in the country. Students have the opportunity to work at world class establishments right on their doorstep. In the same instance, having a commercial cookery qualification means that you can travel the world and work along the way.
Matthew’s passion for wine matching has taken him all across the globe. In 2012 Matthew won a fellowship to study in Champagne and was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Commendation for Outstanding Service to the City of Melbourne. In the last few years Matthew has enjoyed extending his passion abroad, touring the wine regions of France and Italy to further his already extensive knowledge.
Your world-class career as a chef starts here.
Interview / Photo Opportunity
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