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23 June 2013

CAVC chefs cook up a storm at the Hardwick

Two Hospitality & Catering students from Cardiff and Vale College have progressed straight from completing their course into full time employment in one of the top restaurants in Wales.

Celebrity chef Stephen Terry has hired Chloe Maisey and David Thomas to work in the kitchens of his prestigious Hardwick restaurant in Abergavenny. A third student, Logan Duff, has been taken on for full-time paid work experience with the possibility of working part time when he returns to the College in September.

Chloe came to the College to study a Pathway to Apprenticeship course in Professional Cookery and has been taken on as a specialist pastry chef at the Hardwick. David left behind a career in construction management in order to take the same course and is also employed in the Hardwick’s kitchens.

Logan Duff originally came to CAVC through a School Link scheme and progressed on to a VRQ1 Professional Cookery course. He will work at the Hardwick throughout the summer before coming back to start a Pathway to Apprenticeship course in the next academic year.

 “It’s great to see Chloe and David get full time employment straight from College and to see Logan get full time paid work experience in the kitchen for the summer,” CAVC Development Officer and Hospitality Lecturer Darren Greenland said. “It’s a credit both to them and to the College, especially with Chloe being taken on in such a specialist role as pastry chef.”

Chloe, 18 and from Pontyclun, said: “It’s great – this is something that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s what I like doing, working in the kitchen but I do prefer pastry. I really enjoyed my time in College – it was hard work but it has prepared me well.”

David, 26 and from Rhiwbina, said: “This is brilliant. I used to work in construction management but I left that job to come and do this instead. It was a big decision for me but it’s working out well. I couldn’t have gone to any other place in Wales that would have given me this platform.

 

“College really helped, first of all in giving me the background and basics. And you were able to ask questions, no matter how silly you thought they might be. You soon realise that there aren’t really any silly questions and that is how you learn.”

Logan, 19 and from Barry, added: “It’s a great experience and a brilliant opportunity for me. It’s hard work but it’s fun. It’s the industry for me – it’s the only industry I’ve ever considered working in; it’s just what I’ve always wanted to do. College is great. It’s a lot different here than it is at College but it has really helped me a lot.”

Chef Stephen Terry said he was very pleased with the students’ hard work and commitment. “They’re fantastic,” he explained. “We’re very fortunate that we have got these people taking the decision that this industry is where they want to be and that they want to work at this level, which is one of the hardest levels to work at. They have to be consistent and there can be no compromise - it all takes a high level of commitment.”

It was unusual for a restaurant to take someone who has just completed a College course as a pastry chef Stephen said, but added that he could see Chloe’s potential and would support as she develops her culinary skills.

“These students came along at the right time and I am glad that they did,” Stephen continued. “They’re great – they’re very personable people and they’ve got the right attitude and that is key in this sort of environment.”

The chef added that he was looking forward to working closely with the College on its £45m new build in Cardiff City Centre. The new campus on Canal Parade will feature a fine dining restaurant where students will prepare and serve food to the public.

“I want to be involved in this development as much as I can,” Stephen said. “I will offer advice and use my profile to help people get on in this industry – it’s something I feel strongly about. The new College build will offer fantastic opportunities and I want to be able to work with its development.”