Student Stories

Gunawan’s story: a pastry chef on a mission

With a fast-growing reputation as an innovative pâtissier, Gunawan has won culinary competitions and worked in some of Adelaide’s finest restaurants. As a pastry chef on a mission, he’s using his culinary and business management skills to innovate and push the boundaries of Adelaide’s pâtisserie industry. With a unique talent and creative flair, Gunawan could very well be Adelaide’s next celebrity chef.

Name: Gunawan Wu
Course: Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management (Pâtisserie), Le Cordon Bleu
Home country: Indonesia

Tell us about the work experience you’ve had since graduating.

During my studies, I undertook a work placement at Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio. I got to make magical sweets, and I have many happy memories of my time there, like when I was tempering 10kg of chocolate.

Since graduating, I’ve worked as a pastry chef at many of Adelaide’s favourite restaurants including Andre’s Cucina, Hill of Grace, Mayfair and Jolley’s Boathouse, where I focused on mastering different cuisines and techniques.

What are some of the culinary awards you’ve won?

I was thrilled to win my first medal in the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge (SA), and I was awarded the People’s Choice for Best Tart in Savour 2016. My ‘Terrarium Tart’ was featured on the front cover of Savour’s Pâtissier of the Year 2016 recipe book. I like to make ground-breaking creations that stand out from the crowd.

Where are you working now?

I’m currently working as the Head Chef at 2nd & 6th in the city. My Advanced Diploma gave me a great foundation for this challenging role where I manage menu design and development, staff rostering and costings. It’s hard work, but I love it!

I’m still training and entering various culinary competitions. I’m also studying for a teaching qualification. I enjoy presenting cooking demonstrations and sharing my passion for food with students. One day, I’d love to become a chef lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu.

What drives your passion for innovation?

I want to change Adelaide’s perspective of desserts with my signature style, which often breaks the rules. If we keep doing the same thing over and over again, Adelaide’s pâtisserie industry won’t grow. I think we should push beyond our boundaries and be true to ourselves.

How have your studies at Le Cordon Bleu influenced your career?

Le Cordon Bleu has the best lecturers, the best facilities and the best industry connections. It’s all about who you know. Without Le Cordon Bleu opening doors, these opportunities would never have happened.

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