Ad Astra is the future of hospitality.

We started Ad Astra to train the next generation of chefs, the world needs to be fed and chefs are the ones who will do it. Our method of training emphasises the principals that are important to the future of feeding humanity: precise, local and sustainable.

Ad Astra sets the precedent in modern industry-standard hospitality training. An emphasis on work-ready capabilities means a qualification from Ad Astra is highly recognised by key players in the hospitality industry.

Our students will be trained in modern and classical cooking techniques, be taught by amazing trainers and get the opportunity to meet and work with world-class chefs. We take our students on a journey from the ingredient’s production through the supply chain to when it is used in the kitchen.

James Sackl


James founded Ad Astra as part of a strategy to make food production and consumption sustainable, realising that chefs are the purveyors of food trends. James’ vision was to create a global network of learning centres for people that are passionate about bringing to market the future food and technology to feed the planet sustainably.

Cooperation with James’ Ag-Tech business, Karma, means Ad Astra students are exposed to unique ingredients and technologies that are transferable into the kitchen.

Signature dish

Cooking Cacio e Pepe with the kids

Alina Tang


Growing up, like many of us, Alina had fond memories of grandma’s cooking. With experience operating education agencies between Australia and China, Alina draws on many years of experience to lead Ad Astra’s melding of high-quality education with down-to-earth culinary delights that everyone should learn how to make.

Alina is proud to watch Ad Astra’s alumni make their mark on the hospitality world by opening restaurants or finding positions at some of the best establishments.

Signature dish

Dill with Pork Dumplings

Chef Alex

Hospitality Director

Being a chef takes tremendous physical, mental and emotional fortitude. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a chef, it is that we put ourselves out there as artists and creators.

It is a beautiful thing to have the opportunity to express ourselves through the creation of food, and the food we craft should be an expression of who we are. Through our food and our creations, it means we get to express who we are as individuals, be creative and stand proud for something we believe in.

After working at some of the best culinary education providers in the world, like Le Cordon Bleu, and all through the Australian Tafe system I chose to work at Ad Astra as it is the perfect training organisation for me to lead into the future. With the skills, knowledge and experience I have accrued over the last 25 years in the hospitality industry and last 10 in the education industry, I am able to create an effective, current, contextualised and tailored course that reflects the current needs of the industry.

What we create is just as much of how the world has shaped us, as it is US shaping the way we see the world

Chef Alex Papasavvas 2019

Fun Story

I was executive chef of a boutique resort in the tropical far north a few years ago, and I was approached after I had packed up breakfast service one day by a famous musician. It was the day after his big concert and was hung over and hungry. He explained that he had a hankering for a big breakfast and in order to cure his bellowing hang over this was a must.

Unfortunately, he had approached me at a time when the kitchen was closed and I was prepping for the next service period. He pleaded with me and even offered to bribe me with band paraphernalia. It was at this point I thought to myself “Hey I could get a little piece of history if I play my cards right”. So, in return for not only a big, and I mean big breakfast, he had said that if I could manage to cook him 3 perfectly soft poached eggs with that breakfast, he would reward me with a signed band poster, the guitar pick and the drumsticks from the concert the night before. I eagerly rubbed my hands together saying “I thought this was going to be hard, so you may as well go get it all now and by the time you get back, your breakfast will be ready”.

Sure enough by the time he had returned, his breakfast was cooked perfectly and I walked away as a happy chef with a new set of drumsticks, a guitar pick and the poster!


Students initially chose Ad Astra because they want real-world skills and a qualification that is recognised by the best in the hospitality industry. They stay because Ad Astra is progressive and constantly innovating, whether it’s experimenting with future-ingredients, launching our Northstar restaurant locations or developing technology to further promote the chefs of tomorrow.

Future students should expect a learning experience prepares you for what the hospitality industry expects, then, armed with skills Ad Astra will introduce students to our partner restaurants to further build-on the skills you’ve acquired.

“This school is not the same as in other schools. Here the trainers are passionate and enthusiast about their art and this is how they give us their knowledge” – John

“This school is perfect to learn cooking. Here the trainers are passionate and enthusiast about their art and this is how they give us their knowledge” – Sophie

“I came to Australia following my biggest dream: Becoming a chef! And I found in Ad Astra the opportunity to take my career to the stars!” – Daniela


Food Capital

Melbourne saw an influx in migrants during the mid 20th century and with them brought recipes and ideas from all over the world. A hunger for new and exciting recipes together with the best natural ingredients, Melbourne became the Mecca for food-lovers. Melbourne is the perfect city to live in for the budding chef, with a great hospitality scene and more restaurants per capita than anywhere in the world. An hour in any direction will uncover high-quality produce, a little longer will get you close to world-renowned produce coming from interstate.


Restaurants and Cafes

Job Market

The hospitality industry in Australia is growing more than other countries at an unprecedented 14% per annum.
There is currently a shortage of 38,000 chefs in Australia with the gap expected to widen to 123,000 by 2020. The Australian Government has indicated local Australian apprentices 50% drop out of the occupation in favour of other professions, meaning there is an opportunity for foreign-born people to get trained in Australia as a chef and potentially occupy job opportunities in Australia.


Chefs in Australia in 2018

Liveable City

Melbourne is a vibrant city with high employment opportunities, low-crime rates and access to a health-care system amongst the best in the world. Melbournian’s are known to be friendly, laid-back and welcoming, being an already very multicultural city. Aside from an excellent culinary-scene, Melbourne is known for the arts with a world-renowned array of street-art situated in narrow alleyways that hide city secrets such as bars, restaurants, cafes or galleries. Melbourne is the city for those who love to enjoy life.


Happy Melburnians

Suburb of Brunswick

95 Albert Street, Brunswick VIC 3056

We decided to locate our first campus in a suburb, close to Melbourne with perhaps the richest culinary history in Melbourne, Brunswick.

Straddling Carlton (Italians), Fitzroy (Hipsters), Collingwood (Greek), nearby to Richmond (Vietnamese) and Melbourne (almost any cuisine you can imagine) Brunswick provides great opportunities to our students to work and live nearby campus.

Brunswick’s time has come, once a working-class suburb where a lot of European migrants settled – it is now brimming with great restaurants, bars and pubs. Property developers have taken note and have been building high-quality real-estate designed for the urban-dwellers. A supportive council has seen plenty of life breathed into the area and Ad Astra is excited to be the source of the people that will fuel this blossoming local industry.

A super-safe area, Brunswick has 3 main modes of super-accessible public transport: trams on Lygon St, Nicholson St and Sydney Rd, as well as regular trains and buses – meaning from the centre of Brunswick into the CBD, takes only 10-15 minutes.


Let us introduce our trainers…

Uwe Szewczyk

For the past 40+ years, I had the opportunity to be trained in Europe as a chef and pastry chef as well as working the last 30 years in Australia in my trade. In 2008 I have upgraded my education to become a vocational educator specialising in units of competences in patisserie. Now, I’m glad and happy to deliver the acknowledgement of cooking to my students and I’m looking forward to seeing them as big chefs in famous restaurants all around the world.

Signature Dish: Come along to my classes and find out for yourself’s.

Favourite dish

As long as it turns on all my senses, is my favourite.

Kristy Meadows

My cooking career began 20 years ago in Melbourne working at Bear Brass and Richmond Hill Café & Larder, whilst doing my training at Box Hill Institute & William Angliss. During my career I have worked at many restaurants and cafes but mainly for hotel brands such as Grand Hyatt, Novotel & Peppers resorts. In developing my skills over the years I’ve found more enjoyment in the running and organising of kitchens, creating and implementing new menus.

Signature dish: Crispy Plains pork belly, green bean, fennel & mint w/ sour green apple.

Favourite dish

My mum’s homemade lasagne.

Aaron Zukerman

Over the past 28 years I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing chefs from around the world as well as working in some fantastic restaurants both locally and abroad, from running the Emma Gorge restaurant @ El Questro, a 1 million acre cattle ranch in the Kimberly’s, to a 16th century pub in Cambridge England, The Orient Express Group, The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay in Sydney, Soho House Group in London and the Commune Group here in Melbourne.

Signature Dish: Anything involving Asian noodles, in particular, ramen.

Favourite dish

Boiled prawns w/ cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.


Practical Classes


Theory Classes

Our trainers come from the hospitality industry and we hire based on real-world experience to ensure our students are transferred knowledge our trainers have accumulated over many years in the industry. Ad Astra has written it’s own course material that reflects our unique approach and aims to deliver real-world knowledge and skills to our students. We have 100 on-site kitchens that have been designed as modern restaurant kitchens. Using Australian-made equipment that is used throughout the hospitality industry our students are exposed to equipment and techniques the same as they would be in reality. Speaking of reality, when not being trained in our kitchens operate as restaurant kitchens for Northstar – which our students have the opportunity to work at.

Course Overview

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

This particular course covers the basic theoretical units and practical components that creates an established base to become a cook. Set out over 25 units, covering everything from hygiene, methods of cookery and recipes capturing all the main food groups with modern and classic techniques to dietary requirements and occupational health and safety.

Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery

The certificate IV is based on units that are directed towards our students becoming leaders and kitchen managers. This takes you from being a “cook” to a “chef” We have implemented a training program that takes a deeper look into the organisational skill sets of the chef, managing a kitchen brigade and the intricacies of running a kitchen.

Diploma of Hospitality Management

Our training pathway sees you travel through the prior mentioned courses to finish with the diploma of hospitality. As the certificate III concentrates on the skill sets of our chefs, the certificate IV to learn to lead the kitchen team, our diploma rounds out our career pathway. This particular course focusses solely on the knowledge and skills you will need to effectively run a successful business, which one day many of our students will be able to do.

What comes after?

After 2 years, find opportunities at one of our partner’s restaurant

The salary range for a chef is rising, alongside the increasing demand for chefs in the hospitality industry. The rule of thumb its, the better your skills the more you will be worth with some chefs earning upwards of $200,000 / year.
$70000 to $140000

Get work with Shift

Shift is a skill-marketplace that gives employers access to our student’s skill on-demand.

We want our student’s experience as an employee to be the best it can be, so we partnered with Shift because of the benefits we can offer our students, such as:

– No interviews, simply get an alert for a job and how much it pays and click accept

– Get a curated To Do list from your new employer so you’re not having to ask what to do

– Get paid for your overtime

– Don’t wait for payday, shift pays out immediately after you finish your shift into your bank account

– Build your skill profile so you get matched to what you’re best at doing

Download Shift on iOS/Android


Clear. Simple. We are transparent.

Upfront Package


What’s included?

  • $15,000 Tuition fee
  • $2,000 Material fee
  • $200 Enrolment fee

Per-term Package


What’s included?

  • $20,000 Tuition fee
  • $2,000 Material fee
  • $200 Enrolment fee

*An insurance is mandatory, it is not included in the package price and will be at your own charge.


Become a student at Ad Astra


Step 1: Choose your package and apply for it

Step 2: Fill the application form and the required documents

Step 3: Receive an offer letter and an agreement letter

Step 4: Make the payment eCoE Deposit.

Step 5: Receive Online Confirmation Enrolment (eCoE)

Step 6: Get your Visa

Step 7: Welcome to Ad Astra


How to enrol with agencies?

and more…


Intake Dates

28 / 01
11 / 03
29 / 04
15 / 07
21 / 10


Special Guests

Part of having great recognition in the industry for the skills we produce, we have access to some industry heavy-weights who are more than happy to involve themselves with our students and give them a glimpse of what life as a top chef is really like.

Farm Visits

We are lucky to be located where the rest of the world wants produce from. Taking advantage of this, we are able to offer students in-depth experience, sourcing the best ingredients Australia has to offer and understanding where the produce they use to cook with comes from.

Sustainability Education

The vision for Ad Astra was always to train the chef’s of tomorrow to have the mind-set for selecting and cooking with sustainable ingredients and implementing technology and practices to help the planet. Throughout the course our students are exposed to innovative technologies, ingredients and techniques that we want to have carried through to the industry.

Karma3 is working towards creating a future where agriculture and waste management are sustainable through coupling the natural capabilities of insects with innovative technology.


Extra Skills

The pursuit of perfection is ingrained in our practice, always looking for a better cut or better technique to bring out ever-unique flavours or textures.

In addition to our standard course, Ad Astra trainers, being the best around. Discover and learn skills you will never find elsewhere.


Ad Astra realises chefs are the unsung heroes of the industry. We have created a way for chefs to express themselves and get recognition for their creations.
Gastronaut allows chefs (and wanna-be chefs) to post recipes to the community of fellow Gastronauts and keep the crowd updated about where they’re cooking.
Get recognised for what you create, the same way any great artist would!


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