Pastry chef apprentice of the year Amanda Slean, of Maryborough, takes out this year’s overall merit award by the National Baking Industry Association.
Pastry chef apprentice of the year Amanda Slean, of Maryborough, takes out this year’s overall merit award by the National Baking Industry Association. Robyne Cuerel

Amanda rises to delicious challenge

A NATURAL love of baking has helped Maryborough pastry chef Amanda Slean complete her apprenticeship in record time.

She also bagged one of the industry's top awards along the way.

Ms Slean, who works at Bell Hilltop Bakery, won the overall award of merit by the annual National Baking Industry Association last month after acing her final apprenticeship exams.

A strong work ethic, study at home and a family history in baking helped Ms Slean qualify as a baker and pastry chef more than a year ahead of time.

Her trainer nominated her for the industry award after an exceptional performance in the exams.

Bell Hilltop Bakery owner Michelle O'Connor said the award showed older apprentices could win major awards.

Ms Slean's plaque will now join her Apprentice of the Year award that she took out in her first year.

"I've always wanted to be in hospitality," Ms Slean said.

She said she especially enjoyed baking shortbread, but was capable of baking everything available at the store.

Kent St Bakery also took out an award at the ceremony in Brisbane.

Visit nbia.org.au for information.



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