Laura | Level 2 Chef apprentice


My path

I've been into baking since I was little, but forgot about it at school. At sixth form I realised there wasn’t much I wanted to do, so I looked at my hobbies. I started to think about catering because of my old love for baking, when I was looking at the courses I thought it would be a good idea to get to know the basics and wanted to get a taste of everything. 

I thought if I’m going to be learning in education that isn’t university I may as well be learning within the industry.  I’ve gained more experience here and it pushes you to learn a bit faster than college, because you have the pressure of actually having to serve people rather than assessors.

My work

When I first started I was downstairs in the brasserie helping with prep, then I was in the larder section, then at Christmas I started working with the pastry chefs. The sous chef went on maternity leave, so I am now running the pastry section which is great - I love it but at the same time it’s quite a lot of responsibility. I'm usually preparing three desserts - and a cheese board - for tables of up to 100 covers.

Finding an apprenticeship

I was looking on the government website, trying to find ones that I liked and were close enough for me to get home late at night. I stumbled across Bordeaux Quay - as I'd just moved to Bristol I'd never heard of it! I really liked what I saw about their commitment to sustainability. Having thought more about it, I applied on the website, got a phone call from the college inviting me for interview as they liked my cv and here I am!

The best bit

It's really rewarding when you are making something from nothing. I really appreciate getting feedback from people about what I've made.

New skills

I've really improved my time management, as I now know how long it will take me to do certain tasks.

College learning

I do one day at college and 4 at work. It's nice to do more than just pastry at college. The facilities are really good - I am at SBSA and it's very spacious. I had struggled with teaching at sixth form with the amount of studying required, but I’m learning more here by actually doing it

My recommendation

I would definitely go for an apprenticeship if I had the choice again.