An acclaimed North East chef created a stir by serving-up a
taster session for young chefs set on carving out a career in the
industry as part of National Apprenticeship Week (February 6 -
David Kennedy, owner and head chef at Food Social and former
North East Chef of the Year, dropped in to Gateshead College on
Tuesday (Feb 7) to run a cooking masterclass for six first
year professional cookery apprentices.
The apprentices, who all work in restaurants, hotels and cafes
across the region, took part in the session to to
broaden their experience and understanding of the skills and
techniques required to succeed as a top chef.
David and the students spent a full morning creating a meal of
roast Northumberland lamb with fondant potatoes. In the industry
standard training kitchens at the college's Baltic Campus, he took
the apprentices through each step of the preparation and cooking
with demonstrations before they completed each task themselves.
Emma Falcus, 19, from Whickham is a full-time apprentice at the
Marriott Hotel, Gateshead, and trains at the college one day per
week to complete a Level 2 NVQ in Professional Cookery.
She said: "I chose to do an apprenticeship because I really want
a career as a chef and learning in a professional kitchen whilst
also studying towards a qualification will give me the best
possible practical training.
Fellow apprentice Marc Kouablan, 25, from Newcastle, who works
at catering company Love Food said: "The masterclass with David
Kennedy was fantastic. It was great to learn from someone who has
been successful in setting up their own restaurant and to see a
different style of cooking."
In preparing the meal, the apprentices learnt the importance of
sourcing good, local ingredients, different butchering techniques
and preparation skills and how to give a modern twist to classic
David, who is well-known following the success of his Black Door
restaurant chain, is now enjoying success with his Food Social at
the Biscuit Factory, and the recently opened River Cafe in North
Shields. He understands the importance of professionals supporting
apprentices as he began his career as an apprentice at Exeter
David said: "It was great to be spend time with the apprentices
and to share some of the skills and techniques I use in my kitchens
"It's so important that apprentices get the chance to understand
the latest thinking and to try different cooking techniques as part
of their learning. There are so many different styles of cuisine
out there and the industry is changing all the time, so sessions
like this are vital to ensure apprentices leave their training with
a well-rounded approach.
"As a former apprentice myself, I believe in this style of
training - the hands on, practical way of learning is
fantastic for any budding chef to hone their skills and the
enthusiasm they bring into the kitchen often makes them an
invaluable addition to any team."