My name is Daniel López, I am from Popayán / Colombia and currently I live in Brisbane / Australia since February 2017 with my partner Paola. Initially, I studied English for about 1 year, then I had the opportunity to study for a Certificate IV in Commercial Cooking and a Diploma in Hospitality.
With my studies and given my passion for food, I have developed a strong fondness for cooking, temporarily putting aside my professional career as an engineer. I have been able to work in several Italian restaurants where I have ventured into a culture unknown up to now, having the privilege of learning different food dishes, and above all, trying them and bringing my palate to new sensations.
Before finishing my cooking studies, thanks to my friend Freydick Corrales, I found out about a cooking contest at the school where he worked (Gamma College). Gamma College was holding this cooking contest for international and domestic students (Australians). Thanks to Freydick, who was attentive and helped me with all the requirements and papers that had to be submitted to participate, I was able to enter the small and select group of participants.
The contest was very exciting, there were around 25 participants from Asia, Europe, Australia, and Latin America. During the contest, two qualifying rounds for the final had to be carried out initially and the second obviously the final where only 8 participants were selected. During the competition, you had to prepare a dish with some surprise ingredients that they gave you in a «Mystery Box» in less than 1 hour and you had to take care that not only the taste but also the temperature and presentation were of high standards.
For the contest, the school had selected 3 highly qualified chef judges who evaluated the quality of what you had prepared under certain point criteria, in addition to these 3 judges there were two chefs who monitored during the hour of preparation that you did everything safely and properly. Of this, there was a recording team that transmitted live by Livestream to our families in Latin America and around the world. The event was a success and had over 1,200 people watching the competition live on Live Stream y many more at the college auditorium and facilities.
After a lot of running through Gamma’s kitchen, I managed to get my dishes that classified me to the final and already in the final round the main dish along with a dessert that I took out at the last minute put me in the first place, earning me a study scholarship of 20 thousand Australian dollars.
I am currently studying a Certificate IV course in Patisserie at the Gamma College and the best thing is that I won this course through this contest that I describe to you called “MasterChef – The Fight For The Golden Plate”.
I thank Freydick and his good accompaniment throughout the process, both advising and enrolling me at the competition, and in my new courses at Gamma. Despite certain difficulties that I had with my previous school, thanks in large part to Freydick’s help, everything was done in the best way since it was possible to obtain credits transfered from my previous courses and my new visa was satisfactorily approved.
But, my story here in Australia has not been everything about work, food and studying. With my partner, we have been able to travel and see various places in Australia where we find landscapes and animals never seen before, we have also enjoyed numerous beaches and natural parks. I really like Australian culture and it suits my personality how the culture is about “taking it easy” hehehe.
Well, this has been a bit of my experience here in Australia and it has been a very good experience since I have had the support of my partner Paola and friends. It should be noted that one of the key people in part of this process has been Freydick, since, with his support, advice and experience, the visa and registration process and my migratory possibilities here in Australia have been a little easier.
Today I share my story to give my support to Freydick in his new project and I can reassure that he and his new agency Monkeys will give the best advice and follow-up to international students, always giving them the best opportunities and the best study programs.