The apprentice chefs are the beating heart of Fifteen Cornwall. Every young person who joins the programme has at least one thing in common. Potential. For whatever reason it’s yet to be realised so that’s where we step in. Our job is to create the right environment to bring it to the surface.
Cooking and food is an empowering way to make this happen. Each fosters all the right qualities to introduce apprentices to their true selves from teamwork, self-discipline, hard work, learning and, perhaps most importantly, passion. Passion becomes the glue that binds everything else together. There’s an incredible moment when it appears.
The programme is intense – 16 months in total with four spent at college taking NVQ1 in Catering and 12 in the Fifteen Cornwall kitchen working one to one with our team of professional chefs across every section of a commercial kitchen. By graduation each has the skills to excel in any restaurant.
But skills are only half the ingredients. It’s back to that word passion. And it’s infectious. The real light bulb moment comes when the apprentices appreciate for themselves the love and dedication that goes into the food they’re cooking with. We expose them to this right from the beginning whether it’s sourcing trips to producers or a chat with a supplier over the kitchen counter.