Australian Stories: Chef Tommy finds his family a home in Tamworth | TSS Recruitment

Australian Stories: Chef Tommy finds his family a home in Tamworth

  • Andrew Silverman

Vietnamese-born Nguyen Van Huy, more affectionately known as Tommy arrived in Australia, bound for Tamworth some 9 months ago.

When we first met Tommy, he had been a Senior Chef de Partie for 5 years at the world renowned Galaxy Macau. At TSS we are fortunate to meet and speak with high-quality chefs from all over the world every day but Tommy was different.

Of course it was the quality of his employment history that stood out initially but it was the passion for his work, family and heritage that was infectious. When you add a personality that is both ambitious yet incredibly down to earth, it was easy to see why he would go on to be one of our most highly sought-after chefs.

It was in the kitchen of his parent’s home in the province of Bac Giang, 60kms NE of Hanoi where he first realised his passion for cooking. There, his mother taught him the art of cooking his native Vietnamese cuisine and where his culinary journey commenced.

“I started cooking in the kitchen with my mother from the age of 10. In Vietnam we only cook at home and I learned a lot from her. That is where my passion started. When I finished high school my parents sent me to study Hospitality in Singapore. I was 19.” says Tommy.

His love of cooking took him from Vietnam to Singapore and on to China where he combined his university education with on the job training in restaurants and luxury hotels. The dream though was to take all he had learned to Australia where he hoped he would one day raise a family.

“My wife and I planned to come to Australia years ago. We had heard about how developed the country and the food industry is. After we were married we wanted to live somewhere that would provide a stable future and better education for our children”.

Tommy had been working away from home for many years by the time he arrived in Tamworth. He was comfortable with his next move and fortunate not to suffer the anxiety many experience in doing so. What made it even easier though were the lengths his new employer went to make the transition seamless.

Owner of The Pub Group, Tanika Douglas made this possible. While this was not the first time she had sponsored from offshore – The Pub Group has 3 sponsored chefs - it was her first TSS experience.

“Our rural location presents significant recruitment challenges. TSS supplied a selection of suitable applicants, each with incredibly detailed information so it allowed us to quickly choose the most suitable,” says Tanika.

“It was really the first time we ever felt like a recruiter had actually understood our needs and the type of experienced chef we were seeking. The entire process was much simpler than we expected or had experienced previously”.

The Pub Group made sure that everything was taken care of prior to his arrival including 4 weeks accommodation that would allow him for settle in immediately without any added unnecessary pressures.

“They were all so welcoming from the moment I was collected from the airport. I had a place to stay and they were all so lovely to me. It was quite overwhelming but settling in was made very easy” Tommy says.

Tanika agrees.

“Tommy is talented, reliable and has quickly become a valued member of staff. He adapted beautifully to our busy kitchen, cooking around 400 meals per service.”

“He now has his beautiful family with him too. I can’t thank TSS enough. They are a pleasure to work with and we will absolutely do this again”.

For Tommy life cannot be better. His Australian dream has been realised. He lives in his own house close to work with his wife and two young children aged 4 and 1. He’s purchased his own car and together they have commenced the next chapter of their lives.

“The next part of our plan is that my son will start school in a year or so and after that we can hopefully apply for PR. I am very happy in my work and it makes me even happier that my employer is too. We plan to live here for a very long time”.

“I have travelled for many years. Vietnam is my home but now I can say that Australia is my country. TSS and The Pub Group have changed the lives of my family forever. My wife and children will now have access to everything we ever dreamed of”.