Published in The Fiji Times (28/8/2015)
Written by Torika Chandra
She is passionate, career driven and dedicated to what she does.
Dinsel McGowan graduated from the Fiji National University last year after completing a double major in Trade Diploma in baking and pastiere and culinary arts.
She is doing her third major — a degree in hotel management. She is a baker and has won several awards, up against renowned international and local bakers. And she is only 22 years old.
"I started baking when I was three years old. It slowly grew into a hobby and then something I am now really passionate about," Dinsel said.
"I wanted to be a doctor growing up. When I was young I used to spend my eight weeks of school holidays at my aunt's place in Nadi. She was a baker and it was from there that I thought, hey this is what I want to do."
Since then, the girl from Kulukulu in Sigatoka has not held back.
While attending FNU, she took part in several competitions.
She won gold in the apprentice chef category for the National Salon Culinaire 2013, silver in the same category for the National Salon Culinaire 2014 at Sofitel Resort, and bronze in the open cake static category.
She also won silver at the International Food Festival 2014 in Nadi, in the tertiary cake static category and gold in the line cake decorating.
"I am focused towards what I want to achieve which is completing my studies and my baking business because before my grandparents died they told me that the key to success was education.
"I am fulfilling the promise I made to them and also making use of all the teachings my parents gave me."
Her parents, realising the skills their daughter had with a spatula and a cake mixer, invested in six ovens and three industrial cake mixers — just so she could continue pursuing her passion for baking.
"Everything I make is from scratch and made with love. Nothing satisfies me more than seeing my customers happy.
"I do what I do because I don't want to be added to an unemployment statistic. I have big plans for my baking and I know my customers like my products."
She plans to open a cafÃ© on wheels in the next year and expand her business.
"In Fiji there really isn't a market for bakers. We have coffee shops and cafes but they sell the same types of cakes and pastries. I want to change that."