GuamRizaCass with Riza
Pacific Challenge 2014 in Guam

Guam exceeded all expectations by conducting a fabulous four day schedule and hosting all international teams in world class establishments at this year’s Pacific Challenge 2014.

A  culinary school for the cooking events was provided for the Pacific culinary challenge. In the past we have seen kitchens built in paddocks and on beaches, always to the best standard possible, but it is just not usual to have a school and the facilities provided for the international component as was provided this year.

Thank you to Guam Culinary School who provided the venue and all students for service and competing chef assistants, plenty of chicks included. This year we asked the Country Presidents to compete and they were each provided with a local junior to work with. This turned out to be an extremely popular option and a great learning experience for the juniors. During the senior event we had some 40 training chef members viewing the event and assisting where possible in the kitchen.

Guam is very light on with senior female chefs within the association. I have already profiled one of the only two and the second was the executive Sous Chef Jo who has recently moved to Canada to work over there. I was however greatly impressed to see so many females training to be chefs at the college – a real sign of the times.

For my last blog of the year I would like to add some of the words that I voiced from my experience in representing my region at the Regional Pacific Meeting 2014 about retaining females in the industry after they are qualified. A real effort needs to be made to create flexible work hours for woman who choose to raise a family. I am sure there are many countries like Australia where there is a lack of good, skilled staff in kitchens, we really need to encourage these women back into the industry.

Secondly I have travelled and seen many woman who wish to work in other countries that come from under privileged areas and really want to be career chefs however they need a job, work Visas sponsored and accommodation to get them on their feet. I am sure this problem as many is not just limited to women and is more of a humanitarian issue. Anyone who can assist or is willing to support these programs, I urge you to put your hand up to assist. Please send me an email at

I am in my 6th year with this program in the Pacific and with the world board, and am witness to and participating in improvements. I would like them to continue and I would love to hear some more from my industry on other issues as it’s now proven that it has legs with over 1000 facebook members on the Woman in the World Association of Chefs Societies facebook site. Woman and men are enjoying networking with others around the globe. We will keep forging forward to improve opportunities for all and to better our industry.

Cheers muchly and Merry Christmas!

New blogs next year. Hope to see some more ladies at Congress in Norway next year.

Cassandra Austin

Committee Member and Regional Representative Woman in the World Association of Chefs Societies