Jameel David is among thousands of WA people heeding the call to become a chef.
Since the explosion in popularity of cooking shows, there has been a steady rise in the number of people entering the industry.
But insiders say there is still a crucial need for more local chefs.
According to hospitality training council FutureNow, enrolments in hospitality courses have more than trebled since 2009 but drop-out rates remain high.
The group reported an average 28 per cent completion rate for hospitality courses. Jameel, the first person to be offered a school-based apprenticeship at the Duxton Hotel, said cooking shows could be part of the problem.
"People have to realise it is hard work - it is rewarding but it is hard work," he said. He said many were attracted to the industry for the wrong reasons, not realising how difficult it could be.
The 17-year-old wanted to be a chef for as long as he could remember. "In my Year 7 speech I said I wanted to be a chef," he said.
"I really like cooking, so I thought why not do what you love."
Jameel eventually wants to travel the world with his trade.
He said he worked with several overseas chefs at the Duxton.
This broadened his knowledge but also reflected the low number of locals in the industry.
Duxton executive chef Aaron Burrows said Jameel was one of his hardest-working apprentices.
Mr Burrows said Jameel's success gave him confidence in the pre-apprenticeship program and he would be willing to take on more school-based apprentices.