David Januszkiewicz has always been passionate about cooking, so was attracted to studying Certificate III in Hospitality with Melbourne Polytechnic's industry-experienced teachers.
David's dedication and hard-work paid off when he and three fellow Melbourne Polytechnic students were awarded the gold medal in the Victorian TAFE Cookery Challenge.
After a year working in the industry, David Januszkiewicz enrolled in the Melbourne Polytechnic Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) to further his career.
David Januszkiewicz has always enjoyed cooking. "It was the only subject at school that interested me and the only field that I wanted to work in."
After finishing VCE, he worked full-time for a year at The Meeting Pool, a French restaurant in Eltham, before contacting Melbourne Polytechnic to begin his apprenticeship. His year of work experience means he will complete the Melbourne Polytechnic Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery), and his apprenticeship, in a shorter time.
David knew a lot of other students heading to Melbourne Polytechnic and decided to join them when he began his study. "I knew it was a good school and it's out here in Preston, which is close for me."
So far he has enjoyed the structure of the course taught at Melbourne Polytechnic. "You learn more at a trade school. You learn all the basics and learn how to use them in the real world."
"The teachers are great. They've all got a lot of experience and connections."
"I had Gregory Payne as one of my teachers and he's taught me a lot about the industry. He's always saying, 'The simple things are best and the best things are simple'. Using that idea, you can put out the most beautiful food, and food made with love."
In July 2011, David and three other Melbourne Polytechnic hospitality students were awarded the gold medal in the Victorian TAFE Cookery Challenge. They trained after class for almost two months to prepare for the 'mystery box' challenge, where they had to make four entrees, four mains and four desserts with set ingredients in three and a half hours.
The Melbourne Polytechnic team beat students from Melbourne's other major cookery schools.
David believes that cooking can be a way of achieving local sustainability. "Buying seasonal and cooking seasonal is the secret to having the most flavoursome dish."
He hasn't made any plans for when he finishes his apprenticeship, except for continuing to work and gain experience. "I like to take it one day at a time. In the long term, I want to make a name for myself. I don't want to do it too quickly – I want to do it step by step and do everything properly. When it's the right time and I'm with the right people, it will hopefully just fall into place."
Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)