ELIZABETH Kerslake is far from an inexperienced cook. But that didn't stop her from learning in Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food.
She said she was convinced to take part in the course by her sister, and as a long-time fan of Oliver she was interested in trying his way of cooking. "It's always interesting to get a hands-on point-of-view rather than just watching it on TV or just reading it out of a book," she said.
"I always find that getting a practical side of things ... is actually quite different."
Getting experienced cooks like Ms Kerslake to learn new tips and tricks in the kitchen is a goal for Ministry of Food chief executive Alicia Peardon.
"That's one thing we really want people to know," she said.
"It's not just a course for people new to cooking or looking to learn to cook.
"It's open to people of all skill levels. Even if you know your way around the kitchen well, it's often good to just see different ways of doing things than you're used too."
She said after three years nearly 4000 people had gone through the Ipswich program.
The next step is to use the Ipswich experience to spread the Ministry of Food throughout Australia.
The Ministry now has a store in Geelong and more are set to open in Sydney and Adelaide this year.
It also operates two mobile vans in Victoria and Queensland.
"We're trying to bring what we've made in Ipswich to the rest of Australia," Ms Peardon said.
"Ipswich was where we began in Australia and it's always been very supportive of us."
Having always offered a 10-week course, the Ipswich Ministry has recently begun a five-week program to allow more people more flexibility in attending.
The Ipswich Ministry of Food was recently guaranteed State Government funding for the next 12 months.