ONE of the most familiar faces in the city’s hospitality industry delivered a powerful message to Tamworth students this week.
Ben Davies didn’t like school and said he wasn’t made for it.
The Tamworth Quality Hotel Powerhouse general manager and esteemed chef spoke to a group of about 30 students through the Careers Network Career Engagement Program at the Tamworth TAFE Campus this week and gave them an insight into his career.
He was joined by former program participant turned Powerhouse chef Alex Mann with the duo cooking up a storm before their eyes.
Together they gave the students a taste, literally, of fine dining with snails, crocodile, kangaroo and other delicacies on the table for the young people to try.
As a student who felt disengaged with a school environment, Mr Davies left and entered into the hospitality industry.
On his lengthy list of accomplishments is achieving Michelin Stars at three different venues, he’s also cooked for the G8 summit and even celebrities including U2.
“I’m very keen on making sure young people, especially young people who don’t have the best backgrounds, are able to tap into other people’s experiences,” Mr Davies said.
“I wanted to give them some idea of what it’s about.
“We do a lot of work with the Careers Network and a lot of our apprentices come through companies like them for work experience.
”A lot of these guys who are disengaged at school haven’t been given the opportunity to really explore what they might want to do in life.”
Mr Davies said the challenges young people faced in school was close to his heart.
“School is not for chefs, we are quite a creative bunch,” he said.
“We don’t want to be confined to the shackles of the classrooms, we want to be in the kitchen and cooking.
“I’m the same and I was able to tell these guys I may have been sitting there like them 30 to 35 years ago.
“I went to a very smart, private Catholic school but I didn’t want to be there. I left and that’s when the true, hard work started and I have been very lucky to have lived and worked all over the world.”
He said young people in Tamworth were fortunate to have the Careers Network and associated programs to engage and inspire them.