Interview with Erik Tammeleht (alumni from Pärnumaa Kutsehariduskeskus)

Erik Tammeleht had a dream of  becoming a professional chef, from a very young age. A very talented young man, he quickly realised that studying at the VET school would help him fulfill his dreams.

We recently caught up with him and despite his very busy schedule, he took time out to speak with us and explain how the VET education helped him in his career.


Please introduce yourself, who are you and what did you study at PKHK?

I’m Erik Tammeleht Level 4 Diploma Professional Culinary arts graduate of Pärnumaa Vocational school, and currently a head chef in Pärnu Kalamajaka café.


Why did you come to study as a chef?

I decided to come and study to become a chef because I felt like food is my passion, and it still is til today.


How have the studies helped you to reach your goals? And would you recommend other people to study in vocational school and why?

When I started my studies in Pärnu, I started competing as well. My first competition was “Kuldne Kulp” a cooking competition just 2 months after I came to the vocational school. It went well 2nd place and a huge confidence boost to continue my competition row. While studying I competed in two school-based and two national cooking competitions also two national restaurant service which I won. Winning national competitions granted me a place in EuroSkills (European vocational education competition) as a restaurant service competitor; where I earned a worthy 5th place out of 17 nations and a medallion of excellence. Next year competed in WorldSkills where I got the 6th place out of 36 nations worldwide.

I would recommend vocational school because it gives you an opportunity to study, work, and develop yourself all at the same time.


How involved have you been with the school activities since graduation and are you interested in communicating with the school? 

Since graduation, I’ve been involved with my school through various competitions; I’ve helped to train students and also have been judging multiple times.


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