At the age of 16, Jason Ford felt naturally drawn to the kitchen. His first job was working as a kitchen hand at an upmarket Coffee Lounge in the heart of Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.
In 1986, Jason was accepted into the recently constructed TAFE College of Tourism and Hospitality (COTAH). Following a year of intensive hospitality training, Jason chose to commence a chef’s apprenticeship. He worked within the Brisbane CBD in restaurants such as the popular New Orleans Restaurant and the award winning Rumpoles Restaurant training under some of Brisbane’s most acclaimed chefs.
On the completion of his apprenticeship, Jason moved on to a successful career in many of Brisbane’s five star hotels, Royal On The Park, Brisbane Hilton, Brisbane Riverview Hotel and the luxurious Stamford Plaza. It was during this time that Jason established himself as a specialist pastry chef. Jason was amongst the first chefs to study and graduate from the Queensland Advanced Trade Certificate in Kitchen Management and was awarded COTAH Pastry Chef of the Year.
During the mid-90’s Jason discovered the rewards of teaching when he became a cookery teacher at TAFE Queensland Brisbane, South Bank Campus.
In 1998 Jason decided to move to the South Burnett with his wife Karen to pursue a rural, family friendly lifestyle in a burgeoning wine and food region.
In 2003, Jason captained the first team of South Burnett chefs to compete in Adelaide’s LifeStyle Food Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, and returned again to compete in 2007. Jason has been bestowed the ‘Pride Of Workmanship’ award for the vocation of Hospitality by the Rotary Club. He was awarded Australia Day Citizen of the Year for Kingaroy in 2003 for his tireless efforts promoting the South Burnett’s food and wine industry to a National audience.
Currently working for TAFE Queensland as a Leading Vocational Teacher in Commercial Cookery, Jason has a Bachelor of Vocational Education and Training, an Advanced Diploma of Hospitality, a Diploma of Events and a Diploma of Management.
He has written restaurant reviews for the Courier Mail, food columns for Queensland Country Life, the South Burnett Times, the South Burnett Mail, southburnett.com.au, the High Country Herald and currently has a weekly radio cooking segment on Crow FM 90.7.
Jason regularly performs cooking demonstrations and has appeared on stage alongside celebrity chefs such as Gary Mehigan (MasterChef), Miguel Maestre (The Living Room), Dan and Steph (MKR), Mark Olive (The Chef’s Line), Alastair McLeod (Queensland Weekender), and Matt Golinski (Ready Steady Cook). He has also made appearances on The Lifestyle Channel, Channel Seven Sunrise, On The Land & WIN Television.
In 2016, Jason’s official website ‘Ford On Food’ was selected by the State Library of Queensland to be archived within the National Library of Australia’s PANDORA archive. The archive was established in order to preserve documentary heritage of Australia’s contemporary electronic resources, including online publications and websites of lasting significance.
As a result of Jason’s years of commitment to South Burnett food producers, he was officially acknowledged as the Food Ambassador for the South Burnett region by Mayor Keith Campbell at a formal ceremony in May 2017.
And in 2018, was awarded Australia Day South Burnett Citizen of the Year.
Jason Ford is also Lead Author of ‘Professional Chef’ First Edition (2010) ISBN-13: 9780170158213 and Second Edition (2015) ISBN-13: 9780170245548.
Jason’s LinkedIn profile.