He may be widely recognised across the nation as a culinary king but David Coomer never set out to be a chef.
The director of food at the recently opened Print Hall in St Georges Terrace, Coomer admits he “just fell into” the career.
As a teenager, he went to hospitality school and trained in hotel management before landing a job at a Sydney hotel.
He started as a waiter, eventually worked his way into the kitchen and never looked back. Coomer, whose restaurant ventures include Star Anise — WA’s most awarded diner before it shut last year — and the popular Pata Negra in Nedlands, is happy to lend a hand to the next generation of chefs.
He will join some of the food industry’s biggest names, including Shane Delia from Maha in Melbourne and Peter Doyle from Sydney’s The Quay, to participate in this year’s HOSTPLUS Cook for Your Career competition where one lucky amateur chef will win a full apprenticeship in one of Australia’s top restaurants.
Aspiring chefs are asked to enter the competition via an online registration, with one finalist selected from each State and Territory.
Coomer encouraged anyone who was considering a career in food to enter but warned it was not an easy path.
“You have to be really passionate about food because it’s hard — it’s a lot of training, long hours and can be pretty antisocial at times,” he said.
Budding chefs can enter at www.hostplus.com.au/c4yc.
The deadline for entries has been extended until Friday, December 14 at 5pm.