“My professional and personal life were very different. At my free time I was always exploring new restaurants and bars at Sydney just to feel new flavours and combinations. I would very often cook at home for my friends, always trying new ingredients, and at some point I realised I was spending all my free time and income on food and travelling.”
Gabriel Gutnik is Kul IN student from Sydney, Australia. He decided to sign for the program Culinary Arts at Kul IN because he had a lifelong passion towards food and cooking, and he has always dreamed of turning it into a career one day. Having left years long job in the IT industry, he has decided to finally pursue this and to use the skills he gained about technology, branding and dealing with stressful situations in a way that he can apply to his dream job. Before he started the program he had a little professional cooking experience. He worked in catering company in Sydney where he did food preparation, cooking and service. At that point he realized to make a real life career he needed first to go through professional culinary education.
Discovering professional identity
- I started my education at University of medical science, and my major was anatomy. Although at that time I wasn't clear about what I wanted to choose as a life career. While finishing my bachelor my friends invited me to work in IT company, which was at that time a secure job option, so I decided to take a chance.
I worked at IT for ten years. I was very good and through the years I managed to make a big progress in my career so I climbed through the leader to Head of IT position. I had a chance to work on a really interesting and engaging projects such as hacking, data and web programing.
My professional and personal life were very different. At my free time I was always exploring new restaurants and bars at Sydney just to feel new flavours and combinations. I would very often cook at home for my friends, always trying new ingredients, and at some point I realised I was spending all my free time and income on food and travelling.
Travelling and experiencing new cultures played always a special roll in my life, gastronomy as a social, sharing value and part of a cultural identity was of a big importance. When I realised I needed a change, I quit my job at IT. I wanted to go out of office, and to try make a living on my first passion, food.
- Croatia is my 40th country that I have visited till now. I have travelled through Asia, Europe two times, North and South America, Caribbean and I drove through central Mexico to Guatemala. I realised while travelling it is never about eating or just food for itself, it is about the people, especially when you go to rural places where you hear stories about how people grow things. The most exciting things are stories behind the product. Something as simple as a grain of corn can be interesting and I learned to enjoy and admire produce and people. The moment of sharing food and stories with people that's what I have taken from my journeys.
A summer in a camper. Travelling through Croatia
- With my camper I have driven entire coast down and back. I have seen all of the water and some of the inland. I loved it, it is so different, different landscapes, different climates, every part of Croatia is unique as you go through it. Croatian gastronomy is a huge mix, and I was very surprised to see that in Croatia you can find every major food trend, for example I went to incredible vegan restaurant in Zagreb. Young people are opened to new influences, you can find everything here, and you can feel how it continues to grow?
Studying culinary arts
- Kul IN has been so much more than expected in every way. A class facilities, experienced staff and great classes. Even living with the team has been interesting. A great all round experience.
The biggest thing I have taken out of Kul IN is not just working side by side on each station as a team, but the huge part of this experience were people around me. Meeting people from all over the world, socially and in this working environment. I think what I have taken from it is that you need to open yourself up. No one is the best chef, no one has the best setting or culinary tradition. You need people to make this energy, and this is what I would advise everyone coming to Kul IN, don't just take the recipes.
Anyone can cook but true inspiration is derived from strong teamwork and interesting people around you. Different skills, ideas and perspectives. A quality dish comes from happy work and the combination of brilliant minds.
- I would like to take this knowledge and to open my farm type restaurant or food truck. For me this was process of learning where do ingredients come from, trying different food. I am not aimeing to be executive chef at the restaurant, but to create a brand of food that has health and culture involved in it.