Our Students

Gordon Gao Liu

After arriving from China in 2009, Gordon Gao Liu left behind his previous studies in philosophy to complete Melbourne Polytechnic’s Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) and then enrolled in a Diploma of Hospitality.

Combining his new cookery skills with his philosophical studies he has now created a unique style of cuisine that is winning praise and awards from industry experts.

“Melbourne Polytechnicmade me feel at home. I chose Melbourne Polytechnic, chose kind teachers, chose good luck. Melbourne Polytechnicchanged my life!”

Gordon Gao Liu, 24, from Sichuan Providence in China, studied philosophy in his home country before coming to Australia in 2009.

In China, the idea of working in a kitchen had never occurred to Gordon, but when in search of a more practical career, he decided to enrol in Melbourne Polytechnic’s Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery). After completing the qualification, Gordon realised he had found his niche and enrolled in the Diploma of Hospitality.

During his studies Gordon began to develop a distinctive artistic style of cooking where “poetry inspires food and visa-versa.” As Gordon explains, “In my cooking study, I developed my knowledge and created my own technique on molecular cooking and my own flavour pairing on fusion style cuisine. There is still a long way to get success, but at Melbourne Polytechnic, I took the first step towards it.”

Gordon says Melbourne Polytechnic’s cookery teachers work closely with the international students and provide a lot of support.

“Andrew Shepherd, the Chef Instructor, has helped me a lot with my cooking. His training was very effective. With his training, I won the gold medal in the State Final of 2011 Australian TAFE Culinary Competition and won champion of Victoria in WorldSkills Competition. For a boy who hadn't even cooked in his home kitchen, this result was really exciting.”

Gordon also credits Philip Tubb, a Tourism Teacher at Melbourne Polytechnic, for introducing him to some of Melbourne’s leading artists – introductions which fuelled his art-inspired cooking style: “that chance completed the theory system of my cuisine.”

Gordon also trained extensively with Andrew Shepherd for the national WorldSkills Competition in Sydney in September 2012. Here he was awarded a gold medal in seafood and a silver medal in lamb, both competitions in Fine Food Australia.

“I am very lucky to enjoy these important years at Melbourne Polytechnicafter coming from China, because I have achieved my goal of becoming a chef of contemporary cuisine and creating my own cooking style. Every time I muse over my memories of Melbourne Polytechnic, I feel sweet and warm in my heart.”

Gordon is now living in China. He works as a chef in a French restaurant in Jinjiang Hotel, a five-star hotel in Chengdu as well as a Chief Inspector of the Development Department in a steak chain company.


Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery), Diploma of Hospitality