Apprentice chef, Harry Jessop tells us about his experience working in the kitchen at ABode Chester.
Harry, age 16, was welcomed to the hotel with an induction to the company and a grand tour. He was then treated to lunch in the ABode Restaurant. It is very important to understand the whole process, from producing the food, all the way through to the journey of the guest enjoying your food in the restaurant.
As part of his familiarisation with the industry, Harry carried out some market research at other high-end hotels in Chester. The purpose was to compare these experiences to ABode Chester and identify key strengths and weaknesses.
Harry took part in an exchange with another apprentice from The Bath Priory (pictured below); whose kitchen is managed by Michelin starred Chef, Sam Moody. Harry can now say with pride, that he spent 5 days working in a Michelin starred kitchen at age 16.
Later in the process, there was a chance to meet other apprentices taking part in the programme at other ABode hotels. This gave an opportunity to swap stories, and network with management within the group. A team building activity and treat for all their hard work was enjoyed by all in the form of a go-karting grand prix! The proud winners are pictured below:
Harry chose to be in full-time work, which meant regular visits from a college assessor in order to complete the NVQ Level qualification in professional cookery.
The qualification required Harry to produce a number of dishes to demonstrate skills learned and mark progress throughout the course of the year. The visits also include health and safety, and food safety reviews with the tutor. Discussion about Harry’s progress and an observation session in the kitchen also took place; Harry assured us that the observation session was quite informal and his tutor just watched him work in the kitchen to see he was learning and progressing.
“In the kitchen you do different things on different sections. I started in pastry and the first thing I learned, was how to make our signature breads, after 3 weeks I could do all three of them. I then moved onto making ice creams, this was good as I'm quite good at Anglaise! Either way, the more they trust you the more you get to do.”