When Malay student Pedmoi “Mimi” Ho first arrived in Melbourne she only knew how to cook traditional Chinese or Thai food.
Now she’s treating her family to roast lamb, hollandaise sauce and, her favourite, pancakes with strawberry sauce. “I like cooking, especially western-style food. I would really like to work in a hotel restaurant in Melbourne when I finish my course,” she says.
Mimi’s cooking skills have improved along with her English thanks to Melbourne Polytechnic’s Certificate III in ESL (Employment) – English for Hospitality course, which she recently completed alongside the Certificate II in Kitchen Operations. She says the course helped her identify western ingredients and learn English. “Along with studying the theory we also learned a lot about communicating with people while working in a restaurant. What I learned about cooking was also important because I want to be a chef.”
The 46-year-old is no stranger to cooking for large numbers of people and regularly feeds 100 members of her extended family every Chinese New Year. “I cook every day at home. The best thing about the course was the teachers and the staff. Jean would teach us new words. She would make sure we knew what coriander was. In the beginning it was very tough, but by the time we were finished, we were very happy because we’d learned a lot of things. Mimi also managed to pick up a few tips while watching the hit TV show Masterchef. “I watch a lot of TV cooking shows. But if I hadn’t done the course, I wouldn’t know what a lot of the food was.”
Mimi is about to start the Certificate III Patisserie course at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Preston campus and she’s looking forward to gaining valuable hands-on experience at onsite restaurant St Georges.
Courses: Certificate III in ESL (Employment) – English for Hospitality / Certificate II in Kitchen Operations, Certificate III Patisserie