Apprentice Chef – Ashlie Manganaro

Mathematics is used by a chef in many different ways and the demand for maths increases the further you go in the business. Doing maths in my work isn’t the chore it was at school, I use maths all day every day almost without thinking about it.

When I was in high school I had no idea I would use mathematics as much as I do now. I measure portion sizes, and calculate the cost to the customer. I use percentages and fractions when working with recipes, and to convert recipes from imperial measurements. Timetabling staff and scheduling the preparation of meals are crucial skills in a busy restaurant.

If I had the chance again I would definitely do maths to Year 12.

Mathematics gives you a competitive advantage against the next person. Maths is important for ordering, budgeting and GST calculation. Once you get to head chef, there is the possibility of being paid a percentage of the profit, so you need to have good financial-mathematics skills to get the most out of the budget and maximise profit. I am pleased I chose this career, the thing I like best about my job is that you learn something different everyday. There are so many different ways I can do my job it is creative and always exciting.

The Maths: Make your career count series was produced by AMSI and funded by the Australian Government under The Improving Mathematics in Schools (TIMES) project. Visit the Maths: Make your career count website at

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