How to be a butcher, a baker and a fishmonger
Training is an essential part of what we do on the Apprentice Programme, and we believe it’s incredibly important for each of our apprentices to receive the very best. At the start of their career many chefs learn the usual knife skills, time management, methods of cooking; but what about those additional skills that form a greater understanding and appreciation for a finished dish? What about the people involved who help produce and prepare ingredients ready to be used in the dishes served?
Preparing fish and shellfish can be seen as a daunting task, but not when you’ve got Matthew Stevens and his team teaching you all the tricks. Our apprentices learn how to fillet flat and round fish, as well as learning how to prepare different types of shellfish including scallops and everyone’s favourite (and pain-staking work to pick) crab. It’s this experience along with learning about the commercial side of fishing and how the fish get from sea to boat to plate, that all helps to create a well-rounded and knowledgeable chef.
Ben at DaBara also opens his bakery to our students, and ‘lets them loose’ on his extensive and impressive collection of bakery cookbooks. Learning about the produce destined for the restaurant as well as understanding bread and proving, helps them to appreciate all the work that happens behind the scenes (mostly through the wee hours of the morning), to create delicious bread made with love. With baking there’s always a little time for play; this cohort have experimented with variations on the ever popular pimped up doughnut, and some decadent pastries.
From pastries now to pork. Etherington’s is the final stop for our apprentices. Brushing up on their butchery skills, identifying joints, preparing for sale, sharpening knives is all part of the package; as well as those all-important knife skills. Being able to confidently butcher a pig is something they can add to their list of skills learnt whilst on the course.
Karl Jones, our Training and Development Chef feels that the off-site training is such a vital part of the programme: “We aim to give our guys the best training we can provide, and our off-site training is no exception. Learning from some of the key players in the industry, they’re gaining vital knowledge and skills as well as some insider knowledge and tricks of the trade. A huge thank you goes out to our training providers, who truly care about what they do, and take time to pass on that dedication and enthusiasm to our apprentices.”On completing their course, some of our apprentices decide they’d like to specialise in one of these areas, and we encourage them to. That’s what it’s all about, opening their eyes to the options available to them, getting them enthused about something, and giving them the opportunities to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. That’s what Fifteen is all about.
Big love and thanks to:
Matthew Stevens Fish
Da Bara Bakery