Volunteering uncovers new passion for cooking

Ben Green is loving his learning experience at Feed Me Bellarine. (Justin Flynn)

By Justin Flynn

It’s a long way from Vancouver Island to Ocean Grove, but Ben Green wouldn’t have it any other way.

The 20-year-old left home on the British Columbia island off the west coast of Canada to pursue a music diploma, but soon found himself on the Bellarine visiting his father, who lives in Clifton Springs.

Then COVID-19 hit and Ben was stuck.

He decided to help out at Feed Me Bellarine in Ocean Grove and loved it so much, he soon realised cooking was another passion in life.

Ben is now in the stages of formalising a chef apprenticeship and is learning on the job under the watchful eyes of some of the state’s best chefs.

All the chefs at Feed Me Bellarine are professionals with accolades in the industry and all are volunteers.

“The great thing about here is you can do all these different types of cooking and all these different chefs come in,” Ben said.

“There’s a different chef each week.

“And for me as an apprentice working here, it’s amazing because I get so much input from so many different and amazing minds.

“This is the best place to be if you want to learn.”

Coming from a background in music (he plays guitar, bass, drums and more), Ben didn’t know much about cooking but Feed Me Bellarine co-founder Anthony Woodburyencouraged him to give it a try.

“Working here has been a gift,” he said.

“It’s like a family.”

Ben’s father relocated to Australia when he was young so Ben has been a regular on these shores since he was eight.

“When people ask me which country I prefer, I can’t really say,” he said.

“When I’m away from Australia, I miss it.”


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