Event

Star Sydney apprentice to compete in global cookery challenge

The 22-year-old said that although the win came as surprise, it was the culmination of months of training, and guidance from his teachers and mentors.

Cristopher Matkowski, a third-year apprentice at The Star Culinary Institute, has been chosen to represent Australia in the WorldSkills Kazan competition in August.


Competing in the “Cookery” event, he will travel to Russia alongside 16 other ‘Skillaroos’ who specialise in various trades including spray-painting, fashion technology and cloud computing. Cristopher will compete against 48 other Cookery apprentices, while 1418 apprentices across 69 countries and 56 trades will take part the competition.


“I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete without the support of the chefs and team at The Star, who provide young people with the necessary culinary skills to perform in such high-pressure environments.


“I’m thrilled to be chosen to represent Australia as part of the Skills Squad. They are a talented group of apprentices and I hope everyone does well in Russia,” Cristopher said.


Cristopher said that he developed his love of cooking in the family kitchen, influenced by his Chilean and Polish ancestry.


“Growing up, I would cook with my grandmother twice a week,” he added. “That experience instilled a passion that I’ve had the opportunity to build on through my apprenticeship and training at The Star Culinary Institute.”


Last week, Cristopher competed at the Global Skills Challenge in Melbourne. Following four days of 

competition, he walked away with a Silver medal behind Russia and ahead of the United Kingdom.


He will go on to compete in China in May – as that nation prepares to host the 2021 Worldskills. Dino Mezzatesta, Chief Operating Officer at The Star Sydney added that vocational education and training was significant to the organisation.


Mr Mezzatesta said it was a wonderful achievement and a testament of Cristopher’s dedication to his craft.


“The Star is proud to have been able to support Cristopher through his WorldSkills journey,” he said. “We’re excited to see him compete on the international stage and know that he’ll represent Australia well.


“At The Star, we are training the next generation of world-class culinary team members through full-time and school-based apprenticeships.


“We employ around 110 talented apprentices nationally. They will be inspired by Cristopher’s achievements, backing him to bring home gold, and want to emulate his performance in future WorldSkills and other competitions.”


Image - left to right: Ianthe Smith (expert), Senator Michaela Cash and Cristopher Matkowski (The Star Sydney apprentice)