Bossley Park local Mary George will head to France on Saturday 8th April for intensive training at the world’s best patisserie kitchen, Chateau de vault de Lugny in Burgundy. As part of her training as a member of the Skills Squad, Mary will work alongside the kitchen team during Gastronomic Week and have one-on-one training with the chateau’s executive chefs.

The 20-year-old was selected last year as a member of WorldSkills Australia’s Skills Squad, following her success at WorldSkills’ national competition, which was held in Melbourne in October 2016.

Mary is training with a dedicated skills mentor, Herve Boutin, a Baking Trades Teacher and Workplace Assessor at TAFE NSW.  Herve is also an international patisserie and confectionery expert with WorldSkills Australia, and will accompany Mary to France.

Mr Boutin said the training in France was an invaluable opportunity for Mary in the lead-up to possible selection for the Abu Dhabi competition. In Abu Dhabi, the patisserie and confectionery category will see 29 countries competing.

In France Mary will focus on plated dessert production, including petit fours, fancies and chocolate work. She will train under Mr Boutin, Chef Franco Bowanee and pastry chef Karina Laval at Chateau de Vault de Lugny.

Mr Boutin thanked the chateau’s executive management team for their contribution to, and support of, WorldSkills Australia.

Mary praised the support of her mentor, TAFE NSW head teacher Kathy Roser, and credited one of her teachers, Andre Sandison from Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, for encouraging her to enter her first WorldSkills competition. Mary completed her Certificate 3 patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School.

“WorldSkills has been amazing as I’ve been able to learn so many new techniques and training to such high standards that I feel I’ve grown so much as a pastry chef,” she said.

Mary said the opportunity to represent Australia in France and perhaps Abu Dhabi “means the world to me”.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent my country in my skill that I love and am so passionate about.”

WorldSkills Australia CEO Brett Judd congratulated Mary on her success to date and said: “I can’t wait to see what the Skills Squad members can achieve on the international stage.”