“Studying was very intense. I learned a lot about myself. Me, moving to a country where I don't know anyone, I had never done that. You learn how you would deal with a high stress situation, working with people you don't know very well, and living with people you had never met, and creating new friendships. It is a unique self-journey, learning how to cook, and I've been perfecting it since the day I arrived.”
Sylvia Wojczys is a Kul IN student coming from Sydney, but she is based in London at the moment. While living and working in London, she realised she wanted to make a change in her career. Exploring the restaurant and food scene in London, her passion towards gastronomy just kept rising. She had tried to fulfil her passion for cooking by attending various cooking classes and trying to gain work experience. She also visited many renowned restaurants in order to discover new flavours and trends in the culinary world. Nonetheless, it did not satisfy her thirst for the culinary arts, so she decided to take an important step in her career and sign up for a culinary program for professional cooks.
- I have been working as radiographer for six years. It was my first profession after I finished University. I moved from Australia to London about two years ago, working as radiographer. And I suppose recently I realised I wanted to try something different. I really liked cooking. In London you are easily exposed to so many different types of cuisines, especially fine dining. So I was very inspired by it. I had been talking with my friends, they convinced me to do it. They thought I had enough talent to try to make a profession out of it.
FINDING THE RIGHT CULINARY SCHOOL
- I officially decided in May to sign up for a culinary program, and I searched for one online. I was looking for an Italian school; I was interested in going to Florence. Culinary schools are quite expensive, so I was looking for a program that was in my budget and with all the subjects I wanted it to have. As I was googling, I made a list of the top 65 culinary schools in Europe and I went through every single one, literally. I was looking for a school that started at the time that I wanted it to, something I could afford, and that listed all of the subjects that I wanted.
Studying was very intense. I learned a lot about myself. Me, moving to a country where I don't know anyone, I had never done that. You learn how you would deal with a high stress situation, working with people you don't know very well, and living with people you had never met, and creating new friendships. It is a unique self-journey, learning how to cook, and I've been perfecting it since the day I arrived. It is perfect that it is in Sisak. You are able to be on your own, to have this bubble where you can actually really concentrate on just cooking and all that you want to get out of this program.
Here I learned a lot of Italian-style cooking which is exactly what I wanted, and it's the style of food people feel comfortable eating. Getting ideas from guest chefs, discussing with chef Zdravko different alternatives for each food, I like being given the chance to experiment.
QUALITIES THAT GOOD COOK NEEDS TO HAVE
- Dedication, motivation, time management skills, positive energy and being keen to learn.
STUDYING IN CROATIA
- Croatians are very lovely people. Zagreb was beautiful during Christmas time, and all around, Croatia is a nice country.
NEW ADDRESS IN SOHO
- I will go back to London first and get as much experience as I can, working in different restaurants. Eventually, I would like to work in a fine dining restaurant or a Michelin star restaurant, but for the beginning I would like to try an upper-end restaurant. I will start working in the restaurant Deniza; it is part of a French brand. The restaurant is in Soho, and it is Italian and Spanish influenced.
Long term, I would like to go to Melbourne and open up a caffe. In Melbourne, the brunch scene is very big, so maybe I'd try something like that, or a fresh food buffet. We also get a lot of influences from different countries, so there are many chances to experiment with food.