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Chef Morgan Clementson cladded in our stylish executive Newport Chef Jacket
Back in 2014 we interviewed Chef Morgan; at the time she was working as Head Baker at the Grain Organic Bakery in Sydney’s east. As a multi-award-winning baker, she had already achieved so much. But the success didn’t end there… We caught up with Chef Morgan to see where her career had taken her.
Tell us about your current role…
They say follow your dreams, take the first step and the rest is pure chance. Currently I travel as an International Technical Advisor in Bakery for Puratos, I am based in their HQ in Brussels, Belgium.
My main focus is to provide support worldwide to our current bakery customers and of course future customers.
We have up to 200 visitors per day to our HQ in Brussels, 80 Innovation Centers worldwide and present in over 120 countries where I am invited to perform live demonstrations and numerous workshops with all kinds of bakery applications.
What are the benefits of working internationally?
The ability to see the world from the air, it opens your eyes as to just how vast and diverse the world really is. I get the honour of meeting people from all ages, religions, social systems and most interestingly culinary backgrounds.
Food is what brings the world together and what sets us apart. I am fortunate enough to taste food some would never have seen in their lifetime. When you talk food with people and especially culture they shine with enthusiasm, the same goes tenfold for chefs, so I am very lucky to have a role I really enjoy.
What have been your highlights so far?
The past three years have been much more than a highlight, it has been a life experience.
As far as countries travelled, I would have to say baking Sangak in the desert in Kerman, Iran, would have had to be one of the most significant cultural highlights so far. I was taken there by our Iran team at Golnan Puratos to visit their customers and the experience just stays with you. Real baking back to basics, flour, water, salt and sourdough and an oven filled with hot rocks!
Second to that, travelling all around Italy baking with 5th generation bakers with so much passion and delectable specialties that it’s hard not to be consumed by.
And who could complain getting to travel San Francisco to enjoy the Sourdough Soup Bowls and visit very inspiring establishments like Tartine Manufactory.
Food is what brings the world together and what sets us apart.
Can you tell us about any new skills/techniques you’ve picked up?
I have learnt the art of body language and how to best communicate with people of all nationalities and cultures. My role really tests the imagination, education and most of all the ability to understand and be understood.
With thousands of types of grains out there, when you travel, you have to bear in mind there is different flour in each country, different ingredients to suit the various taste buds and not to mention how many weird and wonderful functioning…and not quite so functioning ovens!
I've had to become very flexible in all my baking and presenting methods. It's quite a skill that I am developing more and more every day thanks to my peers in the industry spreading their love and passion all over the world.
Tell us about your trip back to TAFE when back in Australia…
As I was coming home for three weeks, and it happened to fall at the end of term, I organised to spend the day taking over the classroom that I began in seven years ago at TAFE Wollongong in a beautiful part of Australia’s coastal region.
This was an experience I would have never imagined all those years ago. I found it very rewarding to be able to share, with my Australian colleague from Puratos Australia, our experiences and skills with the younger generation – our future industry leaders.
Together, along with the teachers, we prepared a display of Sourdough Decoration Breads and welcomed them to the wonderful world of long fermentation.
Your advice for Chef’s who want to explore the international industry?
Find what makes your heart happy and follow your instincts. Sometimes it takes sheer bravery to find a job opportunity you never even knew existed.
The food industry is one large happy hungry family network…meet people, talk food and passion.
Teach, prepare to be taught and, most of all, cherish where you are – home will always be there when or if you come back.
Sometimes we let age or our circumstances block us from our full potential. My advice is to break past that, be determined yet humble, educate yourself and keep that imagination of yours forever wild.
2014 Interview with Chef Morgan Clementson
Virtual tour of the Puratos Sourdough Library.
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