The Worshipful Company of Cooks has celebrated the achievements of the chef apprentices that it has supported through their studies.
At a lunch in honour of high achieving students who graduated from Westminster Kingsway College last year, the Livery Company reinforced its support for the chefs as it seeks to add value to their apprenticeship programme.
As part of its initiative to work with the students it provides practical and financial support, specialist cooking tuition and professional mentoring. The programme sponsors one group of apprentices at Level 2 and another at Level 3 each year.
Once apprentices complete both levels they are invited to join the Cooks Company, through which they will be supported as they embark on their careers.
Addressing the students Graham Craddock, chairman of the catering committee at the Company of Cooks, said: “This is an extremely tough business requiring physical and mental energy. There are few jobs that give the satisfaction and pleasure – and the more degrees of difficulty the greater the sense of achievement.
“You will see that pressure is a two-edged sword. Along the way, there will be huge disappointments when everything goes tits up. The really special ones amongst you will be able to take that on the chin, learn from mistakes and get going again.
“There will be occasions when everything seems disastrous – I would recommend that you develop a good sense of humour. But as well as that make sure that you have a strong network of friends, family, colleagues, mentors, bosses who can listen, and understand and by doing so help. You can now add to that list – The Worshipful Company of Cooks.
“By being one of our apprentices you have already started a lifetime source of help. The Company will always be there for you.”
The four graduates present at the lunch – Leah Johnson, Lamar Greaves, James Goodman and Marie McWhinney – will all be assigned a member of the company as their ‘Master’ to mentor them through their four years as a Cooks’ Company Apprentice.
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