In loving of memory of

Aaron James Maree

Davenport Wa, Australia

Born: 27 March 1969 Passes away: 17 May 2019

Reflecting on 35 years of friendship – by John Sexton

Dear Aaron



Since seeing you and returning home I have been reflecting on our 35 years of friendship. I have been going through the “Aaron File” that has all the letters you have sent over the years. They started as hand written, then typed letters posted, followed by faxes then emails and now WhatsApp. How communication has changed over the 35 years !! I well remember when you started stage one at College. You stood out from the rest and I knew then you were someone who would go a long way in your trade and that is why I always encouraged you. You had a dream, lived it and succeeded in achieving that dream. I also remember the knocks you got from other teachers who could not see your potential, passion and ability to succeed as a Pastry Chef. When you announced you were going to write books they scoffed at you. Little did they know you would prove them all wrong. Not one of them had kept up with what was happening in industry or ever returned to update their skills. They lived in the past. I will never forget your final exam at College when I managed to break your mother’s sherry glasses. I was so upset that I went down the coast to see her and apologise. She was so gracious and was not at all concerned. When you finished stage three and headed to Yulara you wrote to me on the plane saying you were about to write your first book “ Petit Fours “ and would I be prepared to look at the draft. Of course I was more than happy to do so. There was another student who also went to Yulara, Helen Matheson – think she was in your group. I loaned Helen some negatives that had her photo on them. She returned them with a letter and said, and I quote, “ I am enjoying my stay here at Yulara and it is good to work with someone as experienced as Aaron ”. Your skills were already being noticed by colleagues and that has continued right through your career. You received many prestigious awards along the way in recognition of your expertise. In the “Aaron File “ there were also video clips taken when you were interviewed and demonstrated on various TV Channels in Sydney. You were a natural and came across as an extremely confident and professional person … and you were. You also produced 2 videos, one on pastry and the other on chocolate, both highly professional. I used those videos many times when I was training offshore – after I had left TAFE. The many books you have written are superb. You also had an amazing ability to write articles, blogs and fiction etc. You have so many incredible gifts. Your many great business ventures including Memoirs in Chocolate Inc, Xoccolatl Inc, Dip Me in Chocolate, Aaron Maree Patissieres Choice (I still have the quick roll rolling pin), along with consultancies with major companies including Cadbury, were wonderful achievements. Your skills as a Pastry Chef were keenly sought after, evidenced by being employed by Holland America Cruise Lines, The Royal Palace in Bahrain, The Peninsula in Manila then The Sands in Macau. You have been teacher, mentor and role model to many young people around the world and I am sure a lot of them would not have achieved what they have without your tuition, care and support.

I have been inspired by you and have used that inspiration to pass on to the young people I work with at High School by showing them what can be achieved when they have dreams, clear goals and the passion to succeed. I tell them, like you, “go out and live your dream”. I used to tell Brendan what you achieved and that inspired him. He had the passion to live his dream. His one wish was to meet you ! Aaron, I am so proud of you, thanks for being a great friend and thanks for sharing your journey including the good times and the down times with us. We love you very much.

John and Judy

Endorsement on Linkedin



I had the pleasure and privilege of being one of Aaron’s Instructors when he was an apprentice and attended the College of Tourism and Hospitality at Coorparoo Brisbane. Aaron was a student who stood out. He displayed many good qualities including attention to detail, willingness to learn and go the extra mile. Most of all he had passion for his chosen trade. Aaron’s practical skills and written work were of a very high standard. As soon as Aaron completed his apprenticeship he commenced writing his first book, something he has continued with great flair and expertise over the years. Aaron’s practical skills and in particular his patissier skills far exceeded what was expected of him. He had the qualities to become an excellent teacher. To this end he taught apprentices at COTAH and the Gold Coast Institute of TAFE in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Aaron wrote his own training manuals and taught the subjects. He was always sought after as he was recognised as an excellent teacher. In subsequent years Aaron has used his teaching skills to instruct the many apprentices he has worked with around the world. I have nothing but praise for Aaron

John Sexton

From humble beginnings at the College of Tourism and Hospitality Coorparoo to……

……Author and world class Corporate Executive Pastry Chef

Some Awards along the way