Ben, chef academy graduate

Ben has a strong background in food, working as a teacher in the Czech Republic at an international school. Having already worked in the industry, he wanted to gain a qualification to professionalise his skills. He is a graduate of the 3 week Culinary Skills Certificate (February 2016). Here he tells us about his experience of the course…

Tell us about your career background and your reasons for choosing the course

I teach food technology to children aged 5 to 13 at the British International School in Prague. I thought it was time to gain a qualification and hone my skills. I wanted to learn in a professional environment and pick up tips and tricks along the way. For me, the course is all about professionalising my skills so I can take my career to the next level.

What were your reasons for choosing White Pepper?

I was looking for an intensive course with a qualification that was recognised internationally. Although I looked at other cookery schools in the UK, I liked the personal approach at White Pepper. The staff were responsive and friendly, and seemed genuinely interested in why I wanted to take the course.

They helped me find local accommodation (I would highly recommend Lions Court in Lytchett Matravers, just up the road from the cookery school). The countryside location of the school was appealing, and the fact they’ve won awards meant they had a good reputation.

What skills do you feel have most improved?

Probably my skills and understanding towards sweet desserts and baking. I’m more of a savoury food person and tend to cook that way, so being taught the tips and techniques for the sweeter side of food has been invaluable.

What have you enjoyed most about the course?

Meeting and engaging with my fellow classmates. Everyone had such different stories and it was great to build the relationships we did as we progressed through the course. Also, the food and recipes. We had such a diverse mix of food and flavours, so every day was a new adventure.

What are you hoping to do now the course has finished?

I enjoy what I am doing currently, but now that I know I have this qualification from such a great cookery school, I feel confident that I can transition into the professional culinary world. That is my goal and now I have the skills to do it.

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