Brett received his invitation to compete around December 2012. Over the moon is an understatement in describing his excitement.
Akin to being selected to represent Australia at the Olympic Games, there was never really any doubt that Brett would go - after all, it is probably the ultimate recognition for any craftsman to be invited to such a prestigious competition.
I don't get involved for a while, but without being too specific, Brett's journey from December 2012 to November 2013 was a rocky one, in so many ways, but as anybody born in western Queensland (Barcaldine), when he sets his mind to something, nothing can really stand in his way.
Brett and I met a few years ago, via our partners who worked for the same company - a meeting in a kitchen saying that "our husbands should meet". I have for a long time been a passionate cook, but bread is something that eluded me.... something was missing in my knowledge. Brett, through Southern Cross Baking Group, ran a class one breads, sourdough and a few other things - and I was hooked! From there we kept in touch - as we just seemed to hit it off. We are both over 6'4" tall - big boys as my wife might say.... and quite similar temperaments.
Brett had been testing breads from early 2013, and I was fortunate enough to get samples for critique... a thankless job!!! I even had some input into some breads (flavour mixing really), which turned out very well (superb in fact) but even though the taste hit the mark, they were not really the prettiest loaves - so they got cut.
Moving along.... one Friday lunchtime, when collecting some more samples, Brett sat down and had a coffee with me and said, "I have something I would like to ask", "Would you consider coming to Europe with me in 2014 to assist me and cook for me." Brett has a condition which means he really needs to eat unprocessed foods - home cooked and fresh - something that I am very particular about, mainly because my wife has a similar constitution.
Anyway - my response was, its not me you need to ask....
My wife and I are soulmates - inseparable, so he needed to pose that question to her.... this was not after me telling her the questions and her chest imploding from palpitations!!
Long story short (once again) she recognised that while it would be uncomfortable for her - it was an opportunity of a lifetime for me.... so here we are.....
More soon on the last month - including training in Newcastle at the Hunter TAFE facilities!
Pictured: Brett's farewell on 30 Jan at Victoria Point "Uncle Bob's Bakery" with the Mayor of Redland City Karen Williams
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