Titanium Bar and Bistro head chef Anthony McIntosh on his TasTAFE journey for Pick up the Tools

HARD WORK: Titanium Bar and Bistro's new head chef Anthony McIntosh, 22, who has landed the job after completing his TasTAFE apprenticeship and a school-based traineeship. Picture: Scott Gelston
HARD WORK: Titanium Bar and Bistro's new head chef Anthony McIntosh, 22, who has landed the job after completing his TasTAFE apprenticeship and a school-based traineeship. Picture: Scott Gelston

A young Anthony McIntosh always dreamed he would be a police officer...or maybe a firefighter.

He never imagined he would become a chef, even though he enjoyed cooking with his family.

It took two tries to convince McIntosh to accept the head chef position at Mercure’s Titanium Bar and Bistro in Launceston.

“They approached me last year, and I said no, I didn’t want to have just finished my apprenticeship and go straight into head chef,” he said.

However, after some persistence, the 22-year-old accepted the position three weeks ago, after acting in the role for the previous two months.

McIntosh shared his story as part of The Examiner’s Pick up the Tools campaign, which aims to promote the successes of the vocational sector.

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“I didn’t think about becoming a chef, it just never really factored in to my thinking,” McIntosh said.

He credits his success to his hard-working and inspiring teachers, at high school, college and TasTAFE.

“I was so fortunate because I had some really good teachers, they all saw something in me and I’m so glad they did because now, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” he said.

In particular, McIntosh said his future career pathway was defined by his high school pathway planner, who let him know about school-based traineeships.

“She came up to me and asked, if I liked cooking, and told me all about the traineeships,” he said.

McIntosh said as a young man he didn’t have an aspirations or plans to finish Years 11 and 12 but conversations with his teachers and the pathway planners changed his mind.

Not only did he complete Year 11 and12, he also completed his school-based traineeship, held down a part-time job and completed his TasTAFE certificates over the course of the past five years. He said his TasTAFE experience was tough but worth it, thanks to the passion of his teachers.

“I struggled a bit with the theory side of things, I know what I want to say but I’m not very good at writing things down,” he said.

“They worked with me a lot to help put my thoughts down on paper.”

The head chef position at Titanium has been McIntosh’s for about three weeks and he has already hired another apprentice.

He said she brings a great dynamic to the cooking team at Titanium.

“She just brings so much confidence in what she’s doing, she’s not afraid to ask me questions and find out how to do things better,” he said.

He said apprentices brought a new dynamic into the team and it was a great opportunity to instil his passion into someone new.