Toby, aspiring restaurant owner

Film producer Toby has always had a keen interest in food and it’s been his lifelong ambition to open a restaurant. He is a graduate of the 3 week Culinary Skills Certificate (February 2016). Here he tells us about his experience of the course…

What is your career background and why did you decide to take the course?

I’m a freelance film producer so I’m always working on different jobs and decided to take a break to improve my culinary skills. I wanted to gain the confidence to start a new venture. My Mum is a chef and my Father-in-Law has an Indian restaurant, so I have quite a strong background in food.

What are your future goals?

My plan is to set up an Indian restaurant, but not your typical Indian restaurant. I want it to be focused around street food with lots of fresh fish. It’s a complete career change for me so I need the kitchen skills to have an understanding of how a professional kitchen works, even if I’m not cooking the dishes myself.

What were your reasons for choosing White Pepper?

It was the nearest chef academy to me, and the course looked comprehensive in terms of skills. I wanted to be able to oversee everything in a kitchen, in terms of food but also health and safety. I also wanted to gain the confidence to set up my own venture.

What career support were you after?

I wanted advice on setting up a restaurant, costing menus and workflow in a kitchen. It’s been useful to have one-to-one sessions as part of the course, and the whole experience has been a catalyst to help start my own restaurant.

What have you enjoyed most about the course?

Obviously the teaching but a close second is working alongside great students who have come from such different backgrounds.

Are you excited at the prospect of a new venture?

Yes, even more so after the last 3 weeks. It’s brought it more into focus and a step further to reality.

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