Adrian Stratton, 24, who had been working at the Onyx Espresso Bar in Mayfield, Newcastle as a casual dishwasher for just six weeks, yesterday allegedly attacked the cafe's 27-year-old female chef.
Police allege Mr Stratton first attacked the woman with a frying pan, then a fire extinguisher, before stabbing her in the chest with a 30-centimetre knife.
The New Zealand national appeared in Newcastle Local Court today after last night being charged with attempted murder and wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
His solicitor Mark Ramsland said his client wished to express his "regret and sadness for the incident".
Stratton did not apply for bail, with the magistrate recommending he undergo a psychiatric assessment. The matter was adjourned until July 8.
The woman, who had been employed at the cafe for just over a month, is now in a serious but stable condition in hospital after having the knife removed from her chest during surgery.
On social media, the cafe owner called on the public to keep the chef in their thoughts and prayers.
The owner said it would take her staff, and most of all her chef, "a long time to heal from the events of today".
"Your messages of warm wishes and support have not gone unnoticed."