Palmerston achiever to cook up a storm in Asia 

VET student Lauren Jacobson is off to Thailand soon to take part in an international food expo

Award-winning Palmerston chef, Lauren Jacobsen will be a guest of her employer, Novotel Darwin, in Bangkok next month when she represents the Northern Territory at an international food expo at the Sofitel Centara in the Thai capital.

It’s a flying start to a career for the 20-year old Charles Darwin University VET student who joined the hotel’s Zest Restaurant in 2005 as a second year apprentice and is now a qualified chef.

Lauren made such a great impression, that Accor’s Sydney-based Head Chef, Tony Carter personally invited her to the event.

She will accompany the Head Chef of Mercure Airport Hotel Sydney, Michael Cahill, and the pair will spend two weeks preparing and demonstrating Australian cuisine to guests of Sofitel Centara Bangkok, as well as cooking at the Australian Embassy there.

Head Chef of Novotel Darwin, Anne McCarthy was full of praise for the young woman.

“Lauren’s initiative, hard work ethic made her a standout performer and her raw talent and energy in the kitchen is excellent. We are keen to give her all the opportunities to succeed within our organisation,” Ms McCarthy said.

Lauren’s passion for cooking started young. As a six-year-old, she was entering her cakes and scones in the Darwin Royal Show and Fred’s Pass Rural Show.

She studied hospitality as a high school student and completed vocational qualifications in kitchen operations and commercial cookery at the CDU Palmerston campus.

Lauren admits the job offers long hours, hard work and intense pressure, but she is proud of her career.

“You have to have the passion for what you’re doing because it’s a lot of hard work and long hours without the big pay checks, but I love it,” she said.

CDU Palmerston campus administrator, Aretha Amos congratulated Lauren on her achievements.

“She is a proud Territorian who is showing others the huge opportunities that open up to people who are passionate, skilled and determined to succeed,” she said.