Cherie’s culinary journey started shortly after leaving school when she went to Otago Polytechnic to study cookery. It was there that she realised there was a lot more to hospitality then just cooking.
“While it was chefing that started me off, I guess the whole idea of a restaurant and how it runs just fascinated me,” says Cherie, “I just loved talking to people and making sure they had a great experience.”
Cherie’s tutors quickly saw her potential and it wasn’t long before she was training for a front of house role in addition to her current studies. Later that year, she competed as part of a team at the Nestle Toque d’Or competition in Auckland as front of house and won gold. Competing again the following year, this time in the cookery section, she gained another gold for her efforts.
After completing her studies, Cherie went overseas and worked in a variety of hospitality rolls around the world before returning to New Zealand. She decided to take a break from the hospitality industry and accepted a role at SANITI (Student Association of Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology Incorporate) as their employment coordinator.
“I just really wanted to help people after years of being involved in the corporate industry.”
But it wasn’t long before Cherie’s love of hospitality got the better of her and she accepted her current role as NMIT Hospitality Tutor at the NMIT’s Nelson Campus.
Cherie says people who study hospitality like to learn with their hands and that’s one of the reasons her students enjoy the NMIT hospitality programmes so much.
“Every day we have fun, every day we learn, but it’s not your typical learning environment.”
“Everything learned is relevant to the industry and what students will be doing on a day-to-day basis in the real world.”
Cherie says students gain a real understanding of working in the industry while being fully supported.
“Our fantastic training restaurant, The Rata Room is open to the public and gives our students a real understanding of what it’s really like to work in the industry.”
“Your tutors also know who to tap into to access the resources you need, it’s such an inclusive environment.”
Cherie teaches New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service Barista and Café Services Strands, Level 3(external link), Trades Academy(external link), and Star Courses to college students.