Lestatt Has His Eye on the Prize
I still remember the first time I set eyes on young Lestatt. It was our first weekend as owners of Glenreagh Bakery and some friends had come to support us. While I was outside chatting to them, a young boy, with resume in his trembling hands approached the doors. He started working for us the following week and we signed him up for his baking apprenticeship a month later.
It was clear from the start he had a strong passion for the trade and a great work ethic to go along with it. He quickly became a vital member of the team and to this day remains part of the Glenreagh Bakery back bone!
Business Owner and Head Pastry Chef, Brooke Stephen, is a former Bake Skills Champion, and having moved to Glenreagh following a successful career, teaching at Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie School in Sydney, could recognise talent when she saw it! She worked alongside Lestatt’s TAFE teacher and Lestatt to decide if the boy from Glenreagh was ready to take on the challenge to participate in Worldskills, the national competition for TAFE apprentices from all trades, who are excelling in their chosen field.
And that was it… Application was in! The coaching and training commenced. Every spare minute Lestatt and Brooke had was spent mastering the techniques, searching for the unique indigenous ingredients required, scrolling instagram for ideas and designing his French themed show piece. The whole of Glenreagh got behind Lestatt, the response from our locals was immense. In return for their support they were rewarded with competition level trial products that were on offer as Lestatt perfected his products!
Then the day came, Lestatt climbed onto a plane for the first time in his life and flew to Melbourne, along with the other Mid North Coast competitors representing all the different trades.
Three gruelling days of competition followed. Lestatt remained focused and seemingly calm throughout with his mum and Brooke watching silently from the sidelines. Even on a couple of occasions when his products weren’t going to plan he remained composed.
The finished products presented as part of this French themed competition were outstanding!!! Lestatt scored full marks for his Moulin Rouge show piece and high marks across the board for everything else. The judges were particularly impressed by his Aussie damper which had to showcase some native indigenous ingredients which he’d never worked with before this competition.
The night of the awards ceremony was overwhelmingly tense, Lestatt was up against some tough competition and while he was pleased with the work he had done, others had produced great products too!
Gold in Retail Bakery went to Oli Parkinson from Brisbane, with Lestatt only 2 points behind coming in silver position! His mum and Brooke were over the moon with this result, super proud, sat in the cheering audience.
Returning back to Glenreagh has been a tremendous experience too, his colleagues are so proud of our golden boy and the whole town of Glenreagh rejoiced in his victory!! He’s featured in papers, videos and radio shows, like a true champion!
Jump forward a month and Lestatt received the call he’d been dreaming about! He’s been offered a spot on the national team! He’ll be flying to various destinations in Asia, representing Australia for training and qualifying rounds before the main event a huge international competition in France!
The Glenreagh Bakery management and team wish Lestatt the very very best of luck for all his future events! Go get ‘em boy!!