Lana Martin began her culinary career in Perth at the young age of 14, completing work experience in Northbridge. Soon after, she had signed up for her chef’s apprenticeship, craving the opportunity to create delicious meals for people to enjoy and the high-pressure kitchen environment she had experienced at Northbridge.

At 22, Lana had the opportunity to join Sodexo as a breakfast chef in the Energy & Resources segment, and, over time, has progressed through the ranks to supervisor, sous chef, and head chef.

Lana has enjoyed the range of opportunities available to Sodexo chefs and a highlight has been taking part in the Karijini experience in 2018. Over four days, Lana and her apprentice gave back to the community, sharing their love of food and people through cooking, sports, and sitting by the campfire telling dream time stories. 

After a number of years working as a chef in the field, Lana’s key takeaway is making sure everyone is working as one team and celebrating each other’s successes each day.

“If our team is happy, our food is happy, and if our food is happy, our customers are happy - that's how the cycle goes,” Lana said.

“When I was a chef on site it was about producing great food that makes people smile. It gives me great comfort knowing that I’m making a difference to people who have had a long day at work and are missing their families.”

Lana’s advice for budding chefs is to “be patient with yourself - accept that you will make mistakes, and that's okay”. She also encourages chefs to never compromise on safety and feel comfortable putting their hand up when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable with the task at hand – there will always be support available.

One day, Lana hopes to open up her own kitchen for vulnerable and disadvantage youth where they can foster a passion for cooking and launch a successful career in the hospitality industry.

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