A day in the life of a commercial cookery student

Discover Academia’s commercial cookery classes in Melbourne or Brisbane today

Having the right skills and knowledge is definitely a great recipe for success in the commercial cooking industry. And study is a perfect ingredient!

Academia students gain the skills, knowledge, and qualifications they need for a fantastic commercial cooking career with our fully approved and accredited commercial cookery courses.

Our courses cover a range of skills for the commercial cookery industry. This includes everything from advanced and technical cooking skills, to finance, staff supervision, and management.

These skills come to our students through a range of learning experiences, including classes, group activities and placements in hotels and restaurants.

While we see students benefit from our courses every day, we know it can be difficult to know what to expect before you start a commercial cookery course.

We take you through a day in the life of an Academia commercial cooking student.

8:30am (morning) or 3:00pm (afternoon): Class begins: attend your first commercial cookery lesson for the day

Your day starts with a morning or afternoon cooking class on campus. If you are studying with Academia, this will be in Melbourne or Brisbane.

Our commercial cookery units cover a diverse range of knowledge and skills.

So what might you learn today?

Advanced and technical cooking skills 

Commercial cooks require a range of advanced and technical cooking skills.

Working in the commercial cooking industry, you could find yourself cooking any range of dishes.

You need to be equipped with the cooking skills to meet the demands of your commercial kitchen, whether that’s in a restaurant, pub, bar, hotel, or event venue!

That’s why, as a commercial cookery student, you will take a range of advanced and technical cooking classes.

Your morning class could be on any one of these topics. It might focus on particular dishes or food types – meat, seafood, poultry, cakes, pastries, desserts.. among others!

Maybe it’s on a cooking skill applied to a range of dishes – examples include using food preparation equipment, preparing food to meet basic dietary requirements and using hygienic practices for food safety.  


Operational budget management is part of managing finances that commercial cookery students will need to learn.

For those looking for a more managerial or supervisory role in the kitchen, you might also need the skills to assess, measure, report, and forecast on revenue and expenses.

The overhead cost of running a restaurant, cafe, or any other kind of commercial kitchen will include:

  • Food and ingredient costs
  • Labour costs
  • Rent
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Emergency expenses
  • Cleaning

Students who study the Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management (majoring in Commercial Cookery) will learn how to manage finances and budget appropriately as part of their core units.

Leadership and management skills

Commercial cookery isn’t just about cooking a variety of dishes.

If you want to take on a managerial role in the kitchen or within the diverse hospitality industry, you’ll also need to learn and polish your leadership skills!

A true leader will:

  • Plan and manage daily kitchen operations
  • Manage their team
  • Ensure health and safety standards are being upheld
  • Promote teamwork and unity among team members

11am: Break

The first lesson of the day has successfully been completed, and now, it’s time to enjoy a quick break between classes.

Before you head to a quiet study room, it’s time for a morning tea break.

You’ve met a ton of new people in class and even while walking the corridors, so it’s the perfect opportunity to see who else is free for a quick 45-minute catch up!

During this time, you take the opportunity to rejuvenate and get ready to tackle the rest of the day.

11:45am: Study time

Between classes, you’ve found the perfect opportunity to take some time to conduct some personal study.

Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming test, or want to improve your knowledge of a certain topic or unit, you find it helpful to take the time between classes to further enhance your learning.

1pm: practical training in our on-site kitchen

The theoretical part of your day may be over, but now it’s time to fully immerse yourself in practical training in our on-site kitchens, located within the Academia campus.

You eagerly head to the kitchen, ready to put your learned skills into action – after all, the practical component is one of your most favourite parts of the course!

Being inside the kitchen, ready to apply everything you’ve learned, gives you a real sense of excitement and accomplishment.

Beyond preparing appetisers, sauces, soups, meat, seafood, or desserts, you also apply your learned skills to ensure hygiene in food handling as well as safety within your kitchen setting.

And you make sure that all your cooking and food preparation is done with heart as much as it’s done with skill!

3pm: Prepare for afternoon tea buffet

Your practical training has doubled in its purpose today.

Not only are you putting your newly acquired skills into practice, but you and your classmates are also eagerly preparing for an afternoon buffet!

During the afternoon session, you’re presenting a range of meals to your fellow students and teachers. They’ll come running at the smell of your delicious creations wafting down the hallways.

This week, you and your classmates are sharing a range of cuisines, from hearty soups and rice dishes, to intricate seafood dishes, and delectable desserts!

Almost as important as taste is presentation. The final step right before the buffet begins is to plate up. You position each component of each meal with care and precision, down to the final garnishes.

Now… the buffet begins!

4pm: Afternoon tea buffet session

With a proud smile on your face, you welcome students from across the campus to your beautiful buffet.

You can’t hide your grin as you share all your wonderful creations, and as the taste tests begin, you anxiously wait for feedback.

Students are flocking to the buffet to get a taste of the wonderful food you’ve created, and feedback is positive and encouraging.

To think, a few short months ago, you were just starting the application process.

Look at you now! You’ve successfully prepared for and hosted your first buffet session at Academia!

No matter how tiring the preparation and the actual afternoon tea session is, you enjoy serving your guests and love hearing their feedback.

5pm: Course advisor meeting

After the afternoon buffet session and clean-up, you head to your course advisor’s office for some information on your upcoming work placement.

If you’re being honest with yourself, you’re feeling a little nervous about it.

But at the same time, you are so excited to dive in and experience the dynamic hospitality industry and real-life kitchen environment!

Academia provides you with an opportunity for hands-on and real-life commercial kitchen experience in one of our associated 5-star restaurants and hotels.

You might find yourself completing placement in one of these impressive establishments: 

Enrol in our commercial cookery courses in Melbourne or Brisbane

Want to take your cooking skills to the next level? Enrol in our commercial cookery and hospitality courses at Academia today!

Whether you’re a beginner or would like to excel your career by taking on a more managerial role, we’re here to help you fulfil your career goals.

Academia puts a high premium on practical experience as much as theoretical knowledge, to ensure you excel while working in a safe, hands-on, and inclusive kitchen environment.

Explore our diverse range of hospitality courses (including those where you can major in Commercial Cookery or Patisserie):

We offer all our hospitality courses at both our Brisbane and Melbourne campuses.

Contact us for any enquiries that you have, and our friendly staff will happily assist you!

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