Our Directors

Alison Taafe

Director & Training Manager

 

Alison has been a professional chef for over 35 years. She trained in London at the highly prestigious Westminster Hotel School in London, where she received the Westminster School Diploma in Profession Cookery. She then spread her wings and travelled and worked her way around the world working in some of the world’s finest kitchens, cooking for movie stars, pop stars, sporting greats and more importantly royalty, namely Queen Elizabeth II and two US presidents both Reagan and Bush Snr. along the way.

 

Alison eventually reached Australia in 1988 where she was appointed as chef for the VIP Lounge of the Australian Pavilion at World Expo 88. She has lived in Australia for 29 years.

 

She began her professional teaching career in 1996 and gained the Bachelor of Adult and Vocational Teaching from Griffith University in 2000. She also held the role of a tenured Leading Vocational Culinary Teacher at Southbank Institute of Technology (COTAH) for 14 years. During this tenure she received several awards. In 2004, Alison was the first ever chef to win a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, which was a great honour. Alison claimed a further award, namely Outstanding Educator in 2016 for the degree program she wrote for chefs in Australia.

 

In 2010, she launched her own ‘Alison Taafe School of Culinary Excellence’ in Brisbane and she is also the Director of Fun, Fast and Fabulous Food Pty Ltd., which is a food and nutrition consultancy business. In 2014, Alison launched The Institute of Culinary Excellence (ICE), which is a registered RTO and trains over 300 apprentice chefs from most of the top 10 restaurants in Brisbane.

 

Media wise, Alison was the resident chef of Channel 9’s Brisbane Extra for several years and has made many appearances on The Shak, Today Tonight, A Current Affair and Channel 10 and 7 National News. Alison has written 3 books: ‘Fun, Fast and Fabulous Food’ (2008) ‘Leftovers Magic’ (2010), ‘Eat For Your Life’ (2013) the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to her own cancer charity ‘Eat For A Cure’ aimed at helping people use food to overturn terminal illness. She will be releasing her 4th book Food for Thought in May 2017.

 

Alison is the Training Manager for ICE and her students become part of her family and are respected, motivated, lead and trained by her and her incredible team of teachers and trainers. Alison leads ICE by example and her work ethic, leadership and professionalism as a teacher and professional chef are second to none.

 

Stephen Taafe

Director & Business Development Manager

 

As the other half of the ‘Dynamic Duo’ Stephen Taafe brings a wealth of knowledge to The Institute of Culinary Excellence (ICE) .

 

His 23 years in the Royal Australian Air Force, retiring in 1991 as the youngest Warrant Officer in his mustering ever, ensures that Steve’s dedication, commitment, ethics and morales regarding training and nurturing apprentices and trainees is second to none. He is the Business Development Manager for ICE.

 

His 12 years experience as Manager for Busy at Work new apprentice centre, and 4 years combined with the HTA (Hospitality Training Association) and then Workskills as Field Officer, has left him with a wealth of vital and considerable knowledge within the training sector and more importantly the contractual arrangements for ICE’s apprentice chefs and employers.

 

Steve is a mentor, a motivator and a more often than not, a realist that ICE’s apprentices and the students learn from. Many of them are very fond of him and his directness and willingness to help them succeed.