Lesson details

Kay-Lene Tan is the Head Pastry Chef at Tonka and Coda Restaurants, where she creates desserts to tell stories about her past. Starting off in film, Kay-Lene made the switch to become a pastry chef which has seen her win numerous awards and work with some of the world’s best chefs.

Kay-Lene’s passion for food started at home with her family and has since grown to become an important part of her daily life. This appreciation and love for cooking led her to change her career at 24 years old and Kay-Lene hasn’t looked back since.

After graduating culinary school, Kay-Lene headed for Singapore where she trained with Chef Joel Robuchon - named “Chef of the Century” by French restaurant guide Gault Millau. Her dedication and learning journey has seen her work with notable chefs such as Chef Jason Atherton and Chef Andres Lara, before being awarded the Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship. The scholarship opened many doorways for Kay-Lene including the opportunity to work with Chef Dominique Crenn and Chef Juan Contreas at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.

With more than 10 years of experience under her belt, Kay-Lene has won a variety of awards including being the first runner up of the San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year award in the Pacific region in 2015. She then continued her award-streak by winning the Rising Star Award at the FoodService Magazine’s Women in Food Service awards in 2017.

In this mentor session, Kay-Lene shares her journey on becoming an award-winning pastry chef.

Learn hospitality skills for today’s world, including:

  • Why age shouldn’t hold you back from your passions
  • The importance of discipline
  • Why learning from the pros is important
  • Why pushing yourself is key to success

This mentor session combines a love of pastry with the determination and passion needed to push yourself to learn and grow as a chef.


Kay-Lene Tan

Kay-Lene Tan is a Head Pastry Chef in two of Melbourne’s most notable restaurants, Tonka and Coda. Kay-Lene started out as a documentary filmmaker before making the shift to culinary arts 10 years ago.

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