Cooking/catering courses(6 Posts)
Anyone done one of these? Anything ranging from 'lifestyle' courses at Raymond Blanc's, to £15k 'cordon bleu' certificates, to an NVQ at the local college.
I did Leiths when I was 19 (but I was not a sloan ranger, no, honest!!!) ...many many many years ago .... and I've never regretted it for one minute.
What Job does she want? There are specific courses now for chalet chefs, yacht chefs etc but all a bit pricey. Possibly RBlanc or Rick Steins is for the amateur chef looking to expand their skills though.
If she wants to work in a restaurant then a catering course (what used to be HND, but I think its now a BTEC) at a FE college is probably the best way in - and free as well.
I have a DF who is taking a private course locally to me in Devon (with a view to becoming a private chef on a yacht - serious life change for her) but it is costing her in excess of £2000, plus knives, whites etc. She is, however, learning very quickly how to produce beautiful fine dining dishes.
If she's deathly serious and speaks french, then Paris is the place Le Cordon Bleu, but deathly expensive. I had a girl work for me once who'd completed the Grand Cuisine (but her parents were very very rich)
They have the Cordon Bleu in London, it's about £15k, that seems to be about the price, £2,000 sounds very cheap, unless it's only a 4 week course.
Similar price to Paris then - which is about 20K for Grand Cuisine I think.
The short courses (1 - 2 weeks) I think you may find are about £2K and I would expect she would need to have a certain level of skill to benefit from these types of courses - but I'm not too sure what's on offer in London these days.
If you are in London, I think that Westminster College has a top notch catering & hospitality department - maybe she could look at that.
What sort of job is she looking for?
To be honest, I think you learn most on the job. HAve you tried contacting an event caterer to see if they are hiring? If she's willing to take a v low salary and work long hours in difficult conditions, then it's a great way to learn. She will be able to work in all kinds of different kitchens, and will meet people who have cooked all over the world. If you can get in with one of the good ones, the ingredients will be of good quality and you may get to do some celeb events. Also asking around in the best restaurants in the area, they may be looking for a commis chef, ie the lowest chef on the rung. Courses are nice but expensive and don't expose you to the real world of cooking. Also make sure she gets some crocs. cooking makes your feet ache like nothing else.
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