Cooking School?

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 - career planning, Degree, Education, Employment, Job Application, Qualifications


Which Cooking School?

seafood station

Steve asks: I want to be a successful chef, so looking to see if this certificate or course will help me on my way? Ashburton Cookery School offer a 20 day cookery diploma for £2700 its a 20 day course? Is this the sort of thing you could put on your CV if you passed it?

In answer:
Ashburton has a good reputation amongst cookery schools, but most of its courses are aimed at enthusiastic amateurs who wish to improve their skill, over those wishing to enter the trade.

The course you are looking at including accommodation would set you back £4000, and claims to train you to NVQ Level3. But the course is not NVQ Lvl3, is only self-certified, and not externally adjudicated.

If I look in contrast at my local college courses for 16/19 yr olds, then an NVQ Lvl2 course would take you 2years and cost £15; not much more as an adult learner, and probably free if you apply via JobCentre+. It is verified by the Central Qualifications Board

UK world grade schools of cookery would include Tante Marie and Leiths. Although again many of their courses are self-certified, the name and quality on your CV will get you work

The more traditional way of getting into cookery is to work as a bottle washer in your local restaurant, and gain experience that way while training at your local college. The alternate is to pack up a rucksack and traipse around Europe improving your skills at various restaurants over a 6month+ time scale, coming back with a rucksack full of debts, unwashed socks and a pile of great references.

Qualifications

Ultimately the test of any qualification, is: will it get you employed? I would go to the Michelin Guide website, and find the three nearest Michelin starred restaurants to you – or those with at least an AA or English Tourist Board 5star rating – and then ring them. Ask to speak to the head chef, accepting you may get through to the head of HR, and ask their advice. I dare say someone may give you a try out if they think you are enthusiastic enough.

Personally, as a recruiter working in that market, I wouldn’t take a 20day course graduate from a self-certified course on my books: accepting we place only trained/experienced chefs.  If you do find work – better direct to the employers, also via the High Street recruiter chains – accept it will be around minimum wage until you are proven.

Good Luck!

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2 Responses to “Cooking School?”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    Useful info, nice blog, thanks – Stephanie

  2. Edward Says:

    Thank you for your help!

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