Q & A with Karl Jones, Training and Development Chef
How long have you worked at the Foundation?
Since the doors opened!
What is your job role?
The purpose of my job role is to ensure the apprentices get the high quality learning and training support they need to help them become competent chefs and complete the ‘Fifteen Cornwall’ training programme, both at the restaurant and at college.
What do you look for in an aspiring apprentice chef?
A spark, passion, enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
How long is the training programme?
The training programme lasts for 16 months.
What can they expect to learn in practical skills?
Basic food preparation followed up by an understanding of where their food comes from. Also a hands on approach to a real life restaurant kitchen with one-to-one training.
Do they need to have any previous qualifications or be able to cook?
No – just a willingness to try different foods and the desire to succeed.
What will they learn?
Fish preparation, meat preparation, veg preparation, desserts and various related cooking methods as well as sustainability of food products and their origins.
What will be expected of them?
Commitment, respect, enthusiasm, a good work ethic and adaptability.
If you could give us three qualities you look for in an apprentice chef what would you say?
A sense of urgency, good initiative and a team player!
What sections will they cover in the kitchen?
Sauce, grill, starters, pasta, prep, pastry.
What is the most difficult part of the course?
Coping with pressures of a busy kitchen, although this gets easier with experience.
Will they get a chance to do any other work experience?
We offer work experience in other kitchens as well as a local butcher, baker and fishmonger.
What other opportunities are there?
We offer opportunities to get involved with catering events, community cooking, celebrity chef evenings, Farmers’ Markets, cookery demonstrations and sourcing trips.
What will they be able to do once they’ve graduated?
Apprentices should become competent young chefs by the time they leave us. They will have passed a series of assessments on all sections of our busy kitchen as well as NVQ level 2 in Professional Cookery at College.
What are other graduates doing now?
Fifteen opens up many doors to our graduates. Some have taken their skills overseas, others have become head chefs within Cornwall. A few have taken on the challenge of London cheffing! One or two have even started their own businesses which is a true testament of our apprenticeship programme.