With the help of Federation, TAFE Baking Trades teacher Dean Tilden is off to Paris next year for the world cup of all things pastry, The Masters de la Boulangerie.
And Mr Tilden, a teacher at the Hamilton campus, has a secret weapon he hopes will win him the “Nutritional Bread Making” section over five other contestants from the Netherlands, Taiwan, Japan, Canada and Turkey.
He will be making his loaf of precious sourdough in the shape of an “Aussie icon”. And before you say the most appropriate (and simplest) shape would be Uluru, Mr Tilden said: “I can’t give too many secrets away to my competitors.”
Federation has made $2000 available to cover his expenses, which not only includes airfares and accommodation but also lugging up to 50kg of equipment and ingredients to Paris.
“It was fantastic to get the support from Federation because I am pretty well self-funding this trip and diving into family funds,” Mr Tilden said. “I’m a teacher who wants to be the best I can be and pass those skills on to my students.”
He said the state of the TAFE system, which has suffered at the hands of government cuts, was dire considering the skills shortage in Australia.
“We have employers out there crying out for hospitality workers yet our face-to-face teaching has been cut by 42 per cent because of cuts to the system,” he said. “We have gone from 18 weeks of 8 hours a day to 13 weeks at 7 hours a day to deliver the same education.”
The Masters de la Boulangerie competition, is held every four years like the World Cup, and will be held in Paris on 4 February.
— Scott Coomber