Apprenticeships at Andrew Brownsword Hotels

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.

Exchange Trip

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.

The Bath Priory

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.

Harry’s Experience

“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.”
ABode Chester

If you or someone you know may be interested in our apprenticeship scheme, or would simply like some more information - visit our careers page.

Or alternatively, contact our HR department:
Tel: 01225 320 470

Seasonal Update

Duck or Grouse, the glorious twelfth, or the start of the game season had a bit of false start this year. Heavy rain earlier in the year effected fly hatches, which the young birds rely on as food a food sauce, meant a lot went hungry and either starved or failed to put on enough weight. Many of the guns out on the first shoot of the season saw only one drive after which the pickers reported the birds needed another week to fill out.  We received our first delivery on the 19th (a week late), bit of a rush, and they were on the menu....

In our garden the Mulberry trees have a great crop of fruit on their branches, as I write we've picked about 6k of fruit. To keep the fresh flavor of the fruit we cooked it over high heat with 10% sugar, we then turn the juice into gel using a little agar.  This Is served with grouse 

Strawberries have exceptional sweetness and flavor, brambles are filling with black berries and the first windfall apples will be arriving. Stone fruit is really good; Black Muscat grapes form French France has amazing depth of flavor,

French corncobs, girolle mushrooms, runner beans, monks beard, peas are abundant. Early ceps Are about but will cost big money. Pastures will soon be full of field mushrooms if they aren’t already.

Sea trout is right in season so is great menu choice, cod has been brilliant, and although expensive there are great line caught sea bass being caught from the beach in Cornwall.

Happy cooking
Sam Moody

 Join the Team

If you would like to know what’s going on in our kitchens and be the first to hear of any opportunities to be part of our brigade please visit our careers page.