Ravi Sarki grew up in a Nepalese household where the kitchen was a place to celebrate culture and food. He is keen to share his cooking passion with others and joins St Paul’s as the school’s new Duty Chef.
The 29-year-old is grateful to his father, also a chef, who experimented with Nepalese, Chinese, Indian and European cuisines, exposing Ravi to a whole range of flavours at family mealtimes.
"From watching my father use different foods and cooking techniques, I quickly learned how to develop flavours from a young age," says Ravi.
The culinary family encouraged Ravi to pursue hospitality, so he undertook a nine-month internship as part of a Hotel Management programme in India. Choosing cooking as his speciality subject, he knew he wanted to advance his passion into a profession.
Needing the credentials to progress his career on a global scale, Ravi made the decision to move to New Zealand in 2014. He signed up to the hospitality school, New Zealand Management Academies (NZMA) where he spent two years training and graduated with a Level 5 Diploma in Professional Cookery.
Since his graduation, Ravi has been employed as a chef at several hot spots around New Zealand. Most recently he held the Head Chef position at Manaia Bar and Kitchen in Tairua and prior, Senior Chef de Partie at the Whitianga Hotel.
Ravi’s position as Duty Chef was created to assist the kitchen with the extra volume of work due to ongoing growth within the school. He says he has been quick to learn how much food growing teens need!
“Cooking is about communication and understanding cultures and languages. English is my second language, so I’m grateful to be in a supportive environment where I can build my confidence.”
When Ravi’s not cooking, he’s into photography – photographing food of course! And he dreams of owning his own restaurant where he can share his creativity in the kitchen. His family still resides in Nepal, but they are in close contact, and Ravi is now able to teach his father a thing or two!