Meet The Chef

Callum Tasker – Chef Tutor.

Joining us this year, Callum is the newest member of our team.  He is the proud father to five boys. Noah (10), George (6), Seth (almost 5) and twins Harry and Oliver (3).  So when Callum isn’t with us, he moonlights in crowd control.  We caught up with him for an interview to get to know him a little better.

Hi Callum, thanks for taking the time out to meet with me.  What first started your interest in cookery?

When I was about 5 years old, I used to cook a lot with my Nan.  She used to make cakes, chutneys and jam for the church shop.  That’s what sparked my enthusiasm and I’ve loved cooking ever since.

And when did you decide to turn this enthusiasm into your career? 

When I was 13, I started working as a KP and by 16 had moved to Gloucestershire, went into a 3 Rosette hotel and just went on from there.

And what first bought you to teaching?

I just wanted to give something back to the industry.  I’ve always wanted to go into teaching, I just didn’t know what direction to take.  I’ve always known that Ashburton Cookery School had an amazing background and reputation, so when the opportunity came up, I took the chance and I haven’t looked back since.

And how are you finding it, now you’ve had a chance to settle in?

It’s been amazing.  I knew that the school and academy have been praised as being outstanding in their field, but I didn’t realise quite how international it is.  It blew me away a little bit.  Ashburton may only be a little pin-prick on the map, but I’ve been teaching the level 2 students today, and there’s people from as far as New Zealand, Australia, America and Brazil.

What are you favourite classes to teach?

I like different ones for different reasons.  I enjoy teaching the level 2 students, as you can give them lots to do.  However, I like the recreational courses too.  It’s all taken at a leisurely pace and you’re more like a host than a chef.  If I had to pick a favourite though, I’d probably go for the Patisserie Week.

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Some of Callum’s photos from the recent Patisserie Week course.

What is it you enjoy about it?

I just love how diverse it is.  It covers the whole spectrum of Patisserie and it’s nice to get really involved.  It’s exciting to get those you are teaching to that level, and see the expressions on their faces when they do something that they never thought they could do.

Do you following any of the latest food trends?

I try to keep up.  I follow certain things on social media, but it can move very fast.  Sometimes you blink and the trend is gone.  My way of looking at it, is to keep it personal.  Put your personality onto the plate of food and you can never go far wrong.

As a chef, what is the most common question you get asked?

Is it true that all chefs shout?  That’s a common one.  I think a lot of them have been watching Gordon Ramsey and think we’re all like that.

And what do you answer?

Not at Ashburton.

Phew!  Glad to hear it.  Thanks very much for taking the time to have a chat with us Callum.

Not a problem.  Thank you.