20060776 ISS Terri Merciera Chocolatier one3

Terri Mercieca

Fellow

International Specialised Skills Institute (ISSI)

Terri is an accomplished chocolatier and pastry chef who wanted to bridge the skill and knowledge gaps in the chocolate industry in Australia, with a focus on artisanal chocolate productions.

Terri's acceptance to ISSI provided her with mentors, networks and contacts and helped her to devise an international study tour that gave her access to some of the best chocolatiers in the world.

Terri is now focused on sharing these riches with the industry and happily, with consumers too. Terri's fellowship was valued at $20,000.

'I had already planned most of my professional trip to Spain, but the Fellowship made me really consider what exactly it was that I wanted to learn, how was I going to learn it and what was I going to do with all the learning,' explains Terri. 'Not only did this Fellowship help fund my trip, it made the experience more focused and it inspired me to do the best I could for the industry in Australia.'

'I trained in Barcelona with Chocolatier and pastry chef Oriol Balaguer for three months, training in chocolate and pastry. I also travelled throughout Europe to witness their chocolate culture, some fairs and the World Chocolate Masters competition at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. I have returned with new skills, knowledge and ideas as well as increased confidence in my skills as a chocolatier and pastry chef. The Fellowship will stand as a highlight in my career, an opportunity that enabled me to enhance my skills can only have a lasting influence.'

At the time of this interview Terri was working as the Head Chocolatier for Kennedy & Wilson Chocolates in the Yarra Valley, running her business Fraise Sauvage, and is contemplating further training in Spain and France again in the next few years. Beyond this, she plans to open a patisserie and chocolaterie in Melbourne which will focus on producing organic and fair trade chocolates and pastries.

Interviewed 2010

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