HUNTER TAFE welcomed back one of its great success stories last week, Brett Graham.
About 120 commercial cookery students were treated to a cooking class with the acclaimed chef.
Mr Graham finished his TAFE training at the Hamilton campus in 1996 and started his career at Newcastle's Scratchleys On The Wharf, before moving to Sydney to work at Banc restaurant.
Mr Graham won the Josephine Pignolet Award and then Young Chef of the Year in 2002 before taking the plunge and moving overseas, eventually opening up his own restaurant in 2005.
The Ledbury in London has achieved many accolades, including a second Michelin star.
Last week his TAFE class worked with vegetables, "making them the star of the plate".
While back in Australia, Mr Graham said he also wanted to break down the barriers associated with certain seafood.
"Some fish, like mackerel, are looked at like bait fish in Newcastle," he said.
"But they just require the same amount of care as you would give a lobster."
While in town, Mr Graham was also the special guest at a fund-raising dinner for his namesake scholarship at Fort Scratchley.
The scholarship is open to third-year apprentices and those within 12 months of completing their cookery apprenticeship.
The winner has the opportunity to work in London with Mr Graham and his team at The Ledbury for two weeks.